William Henry Rowan, 81, an antitrust attorney with the Department of Justice, died of a cerebral hemorrhage June 6 at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

At the Justice Department, Mr. Rowan played a key role in several important antitrust cases, including a 1963 consent decree protecting the public's right to choose an automotive collision repair facility against efforts by state insurance companies to curb that right. He worked for Justice from about 1952 to the mid-1980s.

Mr. Rowan, who lived in Alexandria from 1958 until his death, also was active in his church, Queen of Apostles Catholic Church in Alexandria, and in a number of church and community action groups such as the Legion of Mary and the Annandale Christian Community for Action.

He was born at Walter Reed Army Medical Center when his father was stationed with the Army in the Washington area. As a member of a military family, he grew up in Arlington, Hawaii, California and Pennsylvania. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the Navy during World War II.

After the war, he graduated from the University of Richmond, earning his bachelor's degree in economics and membership in the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from Georgetown University in the early 1950s.

His wife, Eleanor Lucia Pitts, whom he married in 1951, died in 1972.

Survivors include five children, Katherine Ellen Rowan of South Riding, Michael Forrest Rowan of Pensacola, Fla., Mary Alice Rowan of Alexandria, Barbara Rowan Husson of Camp Springs and Thomas Patrick Rowan of Washington; a brother, John V. Rowan of Arlington; a sister, Blanche Neary, of Colorado Springs; and five grandchildren.

William Henry Rowan also was active in his Alexandria church and in several community groups.