Carolyn W. White, 78, long active in the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a retired employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, died Wednesday at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.

Mrs. White, widow of the late architect Frank Russell White, held several offices in the Capitol Chapter of the DAR, including two terms as regent from 1962 to 1966. She also served terms as state head of transportation and state head of tellers in the District of Columbia DAR.

Born in Washinton, she attended the University of Maryland and Hood College and taught for a year in Frederick, md., schools before joining the Agriculture Department in 1922.

Mrs. White became an administrative assistant in the department, and in 1957 was the first woman to be awarded a Certificate of Merit for exceptional performance from the compliance and investigation division of the department's commodity stabilization service. She retired in 1964.

She was corresponding secretary and tresurer of the Dixie Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for 12 years, and was also a member of the Twentieth Century Club, the Washington City Club and St. Ann's Catholic Church.

Survivors include a son, Frank Russell White Jr., of Washington; a grandson; a brother, Dr. Thomas A. Wildman of Washington, and threee sisters, Lois Colwell and Louise Sickel, both of Washinton, and Vivian Blocher of Chevy Chase.