Joseph Augustus Plumer, 72, a member of the Mount Rainier City Council for the last 11 years and a member of the Mount Rainier Volunteer Fire Department for 54 years, died Friday at his home in Mount Rainier. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Plumer, a native and lifelong resident of Mount Rainier, retired in 1970 as the chief plumber of St. Elizabeths Hospital, where he worked for 41 years.

As a volunteer fireman, he remained active until about a year ago. He was a member of the Volunteer Firemen's Association. As a member of the city council, he represented Ward One. At the time of his death, he was a volunteer with the Meals-on-Wheels program.

Mr. Plumer also was a charter member of Council 2809 of the Knights of Columbus in College Park, in which he was a 4th degree Knight. He was a member of St. James Catholic Church and was active in its Holy Name Society.

He was a member of the College Park Moose Lodge and was an honorary member of the American Legion in College Park.

Survivors include his wife, Frances T., whom he married 49 years ago, of Mount Rainier; two daughters, Ann Gruber of Dravosburg, Pa., and Jane Brink of Upper Marlboro; two sons, Joseph A. Jr., also of Upper Marlboro, and Francis, of Lanham; three sisters, Frances Mutchler and Julia Wight, both of Mount Rainier, and Elizabeth Hooe of Florida; one brother, Edward T., of Mount Rainier; 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Children's Hospital National Medical Center of Washington.