Joseph S. Rosapepe, 69, a retired government public information official and a former newspaper and wire service reporter, died May 22 at Arlington Hospital following surgery for a cardiovascular ailment. He lived in Arlington.

Mr. Rosapepe was born in Italy and reared in Youngstown, Ohio. He was a graduate of Bianchi College in Naples, Italy, and Kenyon College in Ohio. He was a teacher and newspaper reporter in Ohio before joining the U.S. Office of War Information in Europe during World War II.

After the war, he was an editor and reporter with the Associated Press and the New York Journal of Commerce in New York and Italy and worked in public relations in New York and Ohio.

He moved to Washington in 1961 when he joined the Internal Revenue Service as director of public information. In 1973 he became a public information officer with the General Accounting Office, from which he retired in 1979.

He was past president of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of the National Press Club.

His wife, Dorothy Carew Rosapepe, died in 1972.

Survivors include a daughter, Dorothy C. Bodwell of Arlington; a son, James C., of College Park; a sister, Rose D'Orazio of Youngstown; three brothers, Carl J., of Wheaton, James V., of Frederick, Md., and Vincent, of Kettering, Ohio, and three grandchildren.