Harold R. Packard, 65, a retired school official in Montgomery County, died Tuesday at Washington Advertist Hospital of heart ailment.

He had been principal of Northwood High School in Silver Spring from 1959 to 1972. He then had served in the office of the associate superintendent of Area Four until retiring in 1974.

Born in Persia, the son of an American medical missionary, Mr. Packard attended high school in Seattle, Wash. He studied at Havard University, then graduated from Colorado College in Boulder, where he also earned a master's degree. Later he took graduate work at American University here.

Mr. Packard taught high school history and geography in Denver before coming to Washington about 1950. After teaching at Coolidge and Western High schools and Alice Deal Junior High School, he joined the Montgomery County school system in 1954.

He was supervisor of secondary education and then principal of Western Junior High School in Bethesda before becoming principal of Northwood.

A past president of the Montgomery County Education Association, Mr. Packard was a member of the National Education Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the American Association of School Administrators.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine of the home in Takoma Park; twp sons, harry, of Gaithersburg, and Hugh, of Wheaton; a daughter, helen Smith, and his stepmother, Jean Packard, both of Burbank, Calif.; four brothers, Hurbert, of Wallingford, Conn., Frank of Troutdale, Ore., Dwight, of Sioux City, N.M.; a sister, Margaret Packard, of Denver, aand five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the music or athletic departments at Northwood High School.