James E. Feeney, 55, retired owner of a mechanical contracting firm in Arlington, died of cancer Saturday at his home in McLean.

He Founded the James E. Feeney Co. in 1960 and retired in 1976. The company is no longer in business.

Mr. Feeney was born in Olyphant, Pa. He attended Pennsylvania State University. He came to the Washington area as a young man and worked as an estimater for a contracting firm before founding his own business. He was a former secretary-treasurer and vice president of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Asociated General Contractors of America.

He was a chapter member of the 4th degree of the John Barry Assembly of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Edward Douglas White Coucil No. 2473. He belonged to St. John's Catholic Church in McLean. He was a charter member of the Anthracite Club of Greater Washington and belonged to the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, the former Winfred Margaret Judge, and a son, James, of McLean; three daughters, Patricia Xander of Fairfax, Joan D'Agostino of Reston, and Janet Sabo of Burke; four sisters, Mary Feeney, Katherine Feeney and ellen Roe, all of Olyphant, and Marcella O'Hara of McLean, and five grandchildren.