Winston C. McNamara, 72, a retired official of the Internal Revenue Service and longtime government personnel officer, died of emphysema Sunday at his home in Springfield.

He began his government career in Washington as a personnel officer with the old Resettlement Administration in 1935. He served with the Army Air Forces during World War II and was an assistant director of the Veterans Administration's personnel relations and training service from 1945 to 1950.

Mr. McNamara then joined the old Economic Cooperation Administration, the Marshall Plan foreign assistance agency, where he became assistant chief of the employment branch before joining the IRS in 1953.

During his years with the IRS, he was chief of its training branch and had edited The Commissioner's Letter, the agency's in-house news publication.

Following his retirement in 1969, Mr. McNamara spent a year as editor of the NAIRE Bulletin, the publication of the National Association of Internal Revenue Employees.

Mr. McNamara was a native of Bridgeport, Conn., and earned a bachelor's degree in economics at Columbia University. He worked for the New York Telephone Company before moving here in 1935.

Survivors include his wife, Grace, of Springfield; two daughters, Grace Raymond of Lexington, Va., and Ellen Ingram of Springfield; a son, Geoffrey, of Burke, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Lung Association.