Joseph P. Trilling, 73, a retried partner in Hubert Caterers, which was started by his father, died Sunday at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Trilling, who was born in Washington, graduated from Gonzaga High School. He later attended George Washinton University.

He joined the family firm in 1932 and operated it with one of his brothers, Edward. They retired in 1965 and sold the business.

Mr. Trilling was a member of the Epicurean Club. He also was a member of the parish of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and of its Holy Name Society. He lived in Glen Echo.

His wife, Mary Helen, died in 1973.

In addition to Edward Trilling of Silver Spring, survivors include three sons, Joseph H. and Robert G., both of Gaithersburg, and James P., of Washington; seven daughters, Mary Ann Lansinger of Pittsburgh, Jane M. Ponton of Vienna, Gayle P. Taylor of Lovettsville, Va., Constance E. Moore of Falls Church, Joan L. Wooten of Arlington, Margaret T. Pearson of Washington, and Clara D. Tehaan of Falls Church; three sisters, Elizabeth Wise, Margaret Massi and Mary Katherine Harbison, all of Washington; another brother, Robert, of Glen Echo; 29 grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.