Paul J. Stanley Sr., 78, a retired special policeman with the General Services Administration and the founder of a real estate firm, died of cancer June 27 at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Stanley, a resident of Washington, was born in what is now North Myrtle Beach, S.C. He moved here in 1934 and attended the old Blackwell Business College. He joined the GSA in 1938 and was assigned to the Department of Housing and Urban Development at the time he retired in 1970.

In 1952, he started the Paul Stanley Realty Co., which specialized in commercial and residential properties in Washington and Maryland. He remained active in the business until his death.

Mr. Stanley was a steward of the Turner Memorial AME Church. He was a member of the Washington Real Estate Board Association and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers Inc. and he was a 32d degree Mason and a Shriner.

Survivors include his wife, Ida King Stanley of Washington; three sons, Donald and Harold Stanley, both of Washington, and Paul J. Stanley Jr. of Bethesda; three daughters, Barbara Stanley of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Dorothy Kennison and Joyce Batipps, both of Washington; three brothers, Rev. Hugo Stanley of Latta, S.C., Henry Stanley of Conway, S.C., and Joseph F. Stanley of Washington; 14 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.