Timoteo Alfonso Sapia-Bosch, 87, a retired Army colonel who was a former history and language professor at George Washington University and a State Department interpreter, died March 6 at Georgetown University Hospital. He had pneumonia.

Col. Sapia-Bosch, who had lived in Washington since 1953, was born in Ponce, P.R.

He began his 36-year Army career when he received his commission as an infantry officer in 1917.

He was a graduate of Georgetown University and earned a master's degree in romance literature and history at George Washington University.

He was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone during World War I. His World War II assignments included tours in the China-Burma-India theater. He served on the staff of Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell and with the 5307th Provisional Unit, better known as Merrill's Marauders. That unit conducted commando-type warfare.

After the war, Col. Sapia-Bosch was stationed in West Germany, held assignments on the Army's general staff, and took part in international missions dealing with Latin America and the Balkans.

He retired from active duty in 1953. During the next 10 years, he was a contract interpreter with the State Department, taught at St. Albans School for Boys, and was a professor of Spanish history and literature at George Washington University.

His wife, the former Maria del Refugio Blanco, died in 1974.

Survivors include a son, Dr. Alfonso F., of Bethesda; a daughter, Gloria E., of Alexandria; a brother, Salvador Sapia, and a sister, Paquita Sapia Gonzalez, both of Ponce, and one grandchild.