Retired Army Col. Roland S. Aronson, 71, a former military and civilian pathologist, died Tuesday at Walter Reed Hospital. He has suffered a heart attack in February.

He served as chief of laboratory services at Walter Reed from 1957 to 1960, and as a pathologist with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology here in 1960-61.

After his retirement from the Army in 1961, Col. Aronson was a pathologist with the National Academy of Sciences. From 1963 to 1965, he was with the department of research pathlogy at Georgetown University Medical School.

He was a consultant to the bureau of laboratories of the Maryland Department of Health from 1966 to 1971. He then worked for the pathology departments of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Medical School until he became ill in February.

Born in Rutland, Vt., Col. Aronson received both bachelor's degrees and medical doctor's degrees from the University of Vermont.

He taught pathology at Iowa State University, worked at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia and was pathologist at the cancer control division of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, before entering the Army in 1941.

Col. Aronson served at the Vancouver Barracks in Washington in World War II, and then at Ft. Dix, N.J., the 408th General Hospital in Tokyo, and Ft. McPherson in Atlanta before his assignment to Walter Reed Hospital in 1957.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine R., of the home in Kensington; two sons, Charles R., of Clarksburg, and one grandchild.