John Alexander, 83, a lawyer who specialized in the practice of domestic law in the District from 1941 until retiring in 1977, died of cardiopulmonary arrest June 13 at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg. He lived in Ladysmith, Va.

Mr. Alexander, a former resident of Washington and Potomac, had lived in the Washington area from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s.

He was a past member of the board of directors and domestic relations committee of the D.C. Bar Association and was a fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He also was a member of the Counsellors Club.

Mr. Alexander, who was born in Battle Creek, Mich., was a 1941 graduate of what is now Catholic University law school. During World War II, he served with the Navy in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Pacific and attained the rank of lieutenant commander.

He was a past commander of American Legion Post No. 41 in Silver Spring and a member of the University Club in Washington. He had served as national officer of the international legal society Sigma Delta Kappa.

His marriage to Joanne Alexander ended in divorce. His second wife, Dorothy Reba McCauley, died in 1982.

Survivors include a son, Jeffrey, of Orlando; a daughter, Michele Gravatt of Millord, Va.; and five grandchildren. Another daughter, Sharon Alexander, died in 1971.