Bobby L. Jones, 53, a retired Navy chief boatswain's mate who had worked for the Main City Post Office here, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

He was born in Lockney, Tex., and entered the Navy in January 1945. In 1963, he was reassigned from Norfolk to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, where he underwent open-heart surgery. He retired in 1964.

Mr. Jones then worked at the Post Office until he retired again in 1977. He lived in Forestville.

Considered an expert in marlinespike seamanship, which is the art of decorative rope work, he also had been employed by Boat U.S., in Alexandria.

Mr. Jones was a member of the Fleet Reserve Association, the Disabled American Veterans, the Knights of Columbus and Mount Calvary Catholic parish in Forestville.

He is survived by his wife, the former Edna Mackintosh, of Forestville; a daughter, Sheila M. Green of Kettering, Md.; a son, Air Force Lt. Bobby L. Jr., of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; a stepdaughter Judith A. Adams of Alexandria; a stepson, Bert E. Bobertson of Chester, Md.; two sisters, Sharon Hart of Colorado, and Myla Stout of California; three brothers, Reese, of California, and Preston and Mack, of Colorado, and four grandchildren.