Lee Bord, 72, who owned and operated jewelry stores in the Washington area for several years until retiring to Florida in 1972, died Saturday at the Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., following a heart attack. He had diabetes.

Mr. Bord was born in Russia and came to the United States in 1910. The family lived first in Akron, Ohio. Mr. Bord became a salesman for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and was transferred to Washington in 1932 after working in the company's offices in Wilmington, Del., and Baltimore.

He remained with Metropolitan Life until World War II, when he went to work for the War Production Board.

In 1945, he joined his father, Moses Bord, in running Bord's Jewelers in Washington. Two years later, the younger Mr. Bord opened his own store, Bethesda Jewlers, in Bethesda.

In 1959, Mr. Bord, a former Rockville resident, changed the name of his firm to Lee Bord & Sons and opened stores in Bethesda and Silver Springs. He continued to head the business until 1972, when he retired for reasons of health.

Mr. Bord was a founder and president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Optimist Club. He also was a member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Bord's first wife, Rose, died in 1970.

Survivors include his wife, Audrey, of St. Petersburg Beach; two sons, Bernard, of Potomac, and Robert, of Rockville, who now run the business founded by their father; a daughter, Bonnie Fields of Gaithersburg; five sisters, Agatha Wachtel of Santa Barbara, Calif., Rose Bord and Mary Kaven, both of Tuckerton, N.J., Bertha Colodny of Levittown, Pa., and Marcella Gellman of Seminole, Fla.; two step-sons, Dr. Joel Krakow of Chester, Pa., and Dr. Kenneth Krakow of Baltimore; a step-daughter, Marcia Prakasam of Shreveport, La., and eight grandchildren. The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contribution to the American Diabetes Association.