James Dyighton McClary, 71, president of McClary and Associates, a construction business in Annandale, died Jan. 29 at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. McClary was born in Mercer County, Mo. He started as a construction worker and established his own business in Missouri at the outbreak of World War II, when he helped build air bases under government contract along the southern coast. He also did construction work at Oak Ridge, Tenn.

He moved to Baltimore about 1955, and built bridges and culverts on projects between Baltimore and Washington, including what is known as the Shirley Highway mixing bowl near the Pentagon.

Mr. McClary had been a resident of Annandale since the early 1960s. He was an active member of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church for many years.

His wife of 42 years, the former Amber E. Golden, died in 1972.

Survivors include a daughter, Madge Marilyn Poore of Falls Church; a son, Roger McClary of Crawford, Tex; six brothers and sisters, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Children's Hospital, the Heart Association or a charity of one's choice.