Retired Army Col. Joseph S. Coulter, 64, an administrative officer in the Adjutant General's office who later became a genealogist, died Saturday at Alexandria Hospital following surgery for an ulcer.

Col. Coulter began his Army career in 1932 with the horse cavalry and later served in the infantry. During World War II, he served in the Pacific, and took part in the invasion of Okinawa.

In 1950-52, he was assigned to St. Louis as executive officer for the southwestern region during President Truman's seizure of the railroads to avert a general strike.

In 1953-54, he served in Korea as adjutant general of the 45th Infantry (Thunderbirds) Division, and as an administrative services officer attached to the South Korean Army.

Col. Coulter later held staff positions in this country and in Germany, including a tour as chief of the education and graphics division in the Office of the Chief of Military History here. He was commanding officer of an information unit in Washington when he retired in 1968.

Col. Coulter, who lived in Alexandria for the last 17 years, was born in Sterling, Kan. He earned bachelor's degrees in military studies and history from the University of Maryland.

He was a member of a number of historic and hereditary groups, including the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Military Society of the War of 1812 and the Military Order of World Wars. He was a past president of the George Washington Chapter, the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

Col. Coulter also was a member of Mensa, an intellectual society.

Survivors include his wife, Juliette, of Alexandria, whom he married in 1941; four daughters, Sharon Gibb of Annapolis, Candis Hansen of Sioux Falls, S.D., Toni McElroy of Dale City, Va., and Jill A., of Fairfax; his mother, Alice Fall Ure of Wichita, Kan., and five grandchildren.