Robert C. Fable Jr., 71, a retired general counsel of the Veterans Administration, died Jan. 2 at the Newport Hospital at Newport, N.H., after a heart attack. He lived in Sunopee, N.H., and also maintained a residence in Boca Raton, Fla.

Mr. Fable, who was born in Sellersville, Pa., earned bachelor's and law degrees at Temple University in Philadelphia. During World War II, he served in the Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He received the Legion of Merit.

He settled in the Washington area and joined the VA after the war. He was general counsel when he retired in 1970. He received the agency's Meritorious Service and Distinguished Career awards.

Since 1972, when he left Washington, he had divided his time between Sunopee and Boca Raton.

Mr. Fable was a member of the American and Federal bar associations, the Lawyers Club, the Scottish Rite Freemasonry and the Sunopee Yacht Club.

His first wife, Ethel Nock Fable, died in 1968. A daughter, Janet Ann, also died in 1968.

Survivors include his wife, the former Margaret Siebert Jansky, of Sunopee and Boca Raton; a stepson, Donald M. Jansky of Bethesda; a stepdaughter, Marybeth J. Anderson of Lafayette, Ind.; a brother, William, of Jensen Beach, Fla., and five stepgrandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Abbott Library Building Extension Fund, Sunopee, N.H., 03782.