Hugh E. Simpson, 61, a retired telecommunications officer with the Central Intelligence Agency, died of a heart attack June 2 while vacationing in Port Charlotte, Fla.

He had retired from the CIA in 1975, after 23 years of service in which he had served in nine countries in Europe, Africa and the Far East.

Born in Selma, Ala., Mr. Simpson attended New York University. He was a member of the Naval Reserves for 17 years until retiring in 1955.

From 1937 to 1939, he was at sea as a radio officer for a steamship company.

Mr. Simpson then was a flight radio officer with Pan American Airways until 1951. He was the first flight officer in 1947 on Pan Am's inaugural flight of the first around-the-world scheduled air service.

He worked for a year with the U.S. Maritime Service before joining the CIA in 1952. Since his retirement, he had worked with the Reston office of Town and and Country Properties.

Mr. Simpson was a member of the Central Intelligence Agency Retirees Association, the Morse Telegraph Club, Inc., Roadrunners International, the Association of Retired Intelligence Officers and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. He was secretary of the Capital Area Chapter of the Society of Wireless Pioneers.

He is survived by his wife, Genevieve, and a son, Hugh A., both of the home in Reston; a daughter, Linda G., also of Reston, and three sisters, Eliot Vogelesang, of Mobile, Ala., Thelma E. Simpson, of Birmingham, Ala., and Martha Walker, of New Orleans, La.