Joseph W. Karoly, 80, formerly of Bryn Mawr, an executive with Radio Corp. of America for 37 years, died of cardiac and pulmonary arrest Wednesday at the Waverly Heights retirement home in Gladwyne, where he had lived for three years.

Raised near Newark, N.J., Mr. Karoly played trombone in the Harrison High School band. When he graduated in 1944, he served two years in the Navy.

Mr. Karoly studied music at New York University until it was discovered he was tone deaf. He earned a bachelor's in accounting in 1950 from Seton Hall College School of Business.

After graduation, Mr. Karoly joined RCA's vacuum tube division in Harrison.

"Joe realized the importance of transistors, a new technology, and helped in the start-up of RCA's semiconductor division in Somerville, N.J.," said his wife of 58 years, Ruth Kotaski Karoly.

Mr. Karoly rose through the ranks at RCA, moving his family several times. In 1973, he was named RCA vice president of transistors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He returned to the United States in 1974 to manage consumer services for RCA in Cherry Hill. He soon was named division president.

After holding executive positions in New York and Brazil, Mr. Karoly retired at age 62.

He then joined the International Executive Service Corp. to help businessmen in developing countries. He worked in Poland, Russia and Panama before retiring for good in 1996.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Karoly is survived by a daughter, Martha; a son, Joseph; and seven grandchildren. Another daughter, Lisa Karoly Hepp, died in 1997.

Friends may call at noon Tuesday at St. John Vianney Church, Youngsford and Conshohocken State Roads, Gladwyne. A Funeral Mass will follow at 1 p.m. Burial is private.

Donations may be sent to Odyssey Hospice, 512 Township Line Rd., Valley Square Building 2, Suite 305, Blue Bell, Pa. 19422.