Walter Kurylo, of Falls Church, a retired Department of Transportation official and a Fairfax County civic leader, died Sunday after a heart attack while vacationing in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was 62.

A native of Chicago, Mr. Kurylo moved here in 1935 to take a position with the Bureau of Public Roads in the Commerce Department, which became the Federal Highway Administration in DOT.

As a result of governmental reorganizations, he served with the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the electromagnetism and geomagnetism branch of the U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which was moved to Boulder in 1971. Mr. Knapp retired in 1975.

Mr. Kurylo also served in the Army Air Forces during 1943-46.

At the highway administration, Mr. Kurylo developed particular expertise in water resources policy and navigational clearance for bridges.

He was also secretary general of the Ninth Pan American Highway Congress in Washington in 1963, for which he earned a distinguished service award. He was also awarded the Department of Commerce Silver Service Medal and a merit award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

From 1968 until his retirement in 1973, Mr. Kurylo was chief of the state programs division of the Transportation Department's Office of Pipeline Safety. He then became deputy assistant general counsel for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and a consultant to several business firms.

Mr. Kurylo was a member of the Fairfax County School Board during 1967-70, and chaired citizens' commitees for educational and environmental bonds in 1965 and 1970. He was named Fairfax County's "citizen of the year" by The Washington Star in 1966.

Survivors include his wife, Lydia, of the home; a son, Carter, of Falls Church, and a daughter, Wally Clark Sanders, of Ford Wayne, Ind.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association.