E. Carl Parent, 53, former owner of an automatic typing business in Washington, died of cancer Sunday at Washington Adventist Hospital.

He had operated the business under the name of Perfect Letters from shortly after World War II until 1960, when he became director of the automatic typing division of Batt Bates and Co., a printing and mailing firm here.

Mr. Parent re-established his own business in 1965 and continued to operate it until 1974, when he went to work in the personnel office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. III health forced his retirement last June.

Born in Hot Springs, Va., Mr. Parent had served as a technical sergeant with the Army in World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Dorris Ramsey Parent, of the home in New Carrollton; eight children, Joseph M., Denise M. and Arthur A., of the home, Michael W., and Carol J. Curry, of Greenbelt, David C., of Paoli, Pa., Paul H., of Hyattsville, and Madonna M. Mock, of Clinton; his mother, Pearle P. Griffith, of Washington; two sisters, Christine LaCoy, of Temple HIlls, and Doris Smith, of Titusville, Fla., and a brother, William R., of Pompano Beach, Fla.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.