James F. Dawson, 82, a Navy commander who retired in the late 1970s and then spent 16 years managing the Arlington County field office of the Avis car-leasing company, died Jan. 8 at Capital Hospice in Arlington. He had cancer.

Cmdr. Dawson, an Arlington resident, specialized in personnel work during his 30-year Navy career. His final-active duty assignment was at the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington.

He had earlier been in Honolulu as assistant to the fleet personnel officer, helping develop personnel policies for the drawdown of troops from Vietnam. Cmdr. Dawson was a Korean War veteran.

His awards included the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal and the Defense Department’s Joint Service Commendation Medal.

James Floyd Dawson was born in Tarentum, Pa.

He was a past board president of Fairlington Commons, a condominium association in Arlington. He did volunteer work at Capital Hospice.

His wife of 27 years, Mary Walls Dawson, died in 1981. Survivors include a brother and a sister.

— Adam Bernstein