Retired Army Maj. Gen. Keith R. Barney, 72, who served more than 35 years with the Corps of Engineers, died Wednesday at Walter Reed Army Hospital following surgery.

His last assignment from 1960 until his retirement here in 1962 was that of deputy chief of engineers for construction.

Born in Springfield, Vt., Gen. Barney graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1926. He was then assigned to civil works projects in the Pittsburgh and St. Paul districts of the Engineer Corps. He also taught at Michigan College of Mining and Technology.

During World War II, Gen. Barney commanded the 1120th Engineer Combat Group in Europe. His decorations for that service included the Silver Star and Legion of Merit and France's Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre.

During 1945-47, he was with the general staff of the War Department here. He then served two years as director of installations, Pacific Air Command, Hawaii.

After attending the Industrial College of the Armed Forces here, he was assigned to the office of the chief of Engineers until 1953, when he became district engineer in Kansas City, Mo.

Gen. Barney was director of installations with the army general staff during 1955-58, then division engineer of the Missouri River Division in Omaha, Neb. for two years.

He received the Distinguished Service Medal at the time of his retirement. He then was associated with the Washington office of Janus Engineering Designs for about 10 years.

Gen. Barney was a fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He is survived by his wife, Frances McClymonds Barney, of the home in Arlington; a son, Keith R. Jr., of Pittsburgh; two sisters, Phyllis Wright and Sheila Poole, of Springfield, Vt., and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Army Distaff Hall.