George Anthony Goercki, 72, a retired examiner-in-chief for the U.S. Patent Office and a Navy veteran of World War II, died of cancer Wednesday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Gorecki, who lived in Bethesda, was born in Nelson, British Columbia. He grew up in Couer D'Alene, Idaho, and earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Idaho in 1929.

The following year, he moved to the Washington area to work at the Patent Office as an examiner.

In 1933, Mr. Gorecki earned a law degree from Georgetown University. A retired Navy Reserve captain, he served as a communiations officer on support ships in the Mediterranean and Pacific theaters during World War II.

After the war, he returned to the Patent Office. He had served as a judge on the Board of Patent Appeals for about five years and was an examiner-in-chief in the Patent Office when he retired in 1971.

Mr. Gorecki had served in Europe as a member of a task for to discuss uniformity of patent made up of representatives from the U.S. and Western European countries.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, the former Elizabeth Graham, of Bethesda; a stepdaughter, Lucile Carson Holt of Atlanta; a sister, Margaret Luttropp of Coeur D' Alene, and four step-grandchildren.