Robert Choate Downes, 67, an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency and a former FBI agent, died of cancer Aug. 7 at Alexandria Hospital.

Mr. Downes, who was born in Oshkosh, Wis., graduated from Harvard University and earned his law degree at the University of Wisconsin. He was a special agent in the FBI from 1942 to 1951 and then worked in industrial relations for auto and chemical companies in Detroit.

He moved to the Washington area in 1959 as an attorney for the Civil Aeronautics Board. He later worked for the Small Business Administration. He transferred to the EPA about 1970.

Mr. Downes was a member of the Wisconsin and D.C. bar associations. He also was admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Claims and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a member of the Harvard Club, the Society of Former FBI Agents and the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Alexandria.

His marriage to the former Jeanne Merling ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley Shelley-Downes of Alexandria; two children by his first marriage, Christine Letterman of San Diego, Calif., and Robert C. Downes Jr. of Arlington; three stepsons, Bruce Shelley of Baltimore, and Scott and Gordon Shelley, both of Alexandria; a sister, Ellen Morris of San Francisco, and three grandchildren.