F. Kathleen Mathews, 69, who served for 41 years with Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries here before her retirement last year, died of cancer April 27 at the Washington Home.

She was secretary to the first executive director of the Goodwill Industries unit when it was founded here in 1935.

Six years later, Miss Mathews was transferred to the personnel and social services department, where she became an assistant director.

She worked with those seeking help from Goodwill and spent long hours counseling families, visiting homes and hospitals and taking care of family emergencies.

Miss Mathews also handled the welfare fund provided by the Goodwill Industries Guild Volunteers. She received the Goodwill board of trustees' Award of Merit and numerous other honors.

Born in Springfield, Mass., she attended the Boston School of Occupational Therapy and specialized in working with the handicapped. After coming here, she attended American University.

She had taught in an Italian mission in Boston, worked for the blind at Perkins Institute in Massachusetts and was briefly with Goodwill Industries in Boston.

Miss Mathews, who had lived for many years on Connecticut Avenue NW, was a member of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church.

There are no immediate survivors.

It is suggested that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.