Frederick Reichman Gracely, 68, who had served the federal government for nearly 30 years before his retirement in 1965, died of cancer Monday at George Washington University Hospital.

His last position has been with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he had worked for five years.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Mr. Gracely earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Drake University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University. He later received a master's degree in political science and public administration from American University.

He joined the federal government in Washington in 1936, serving for several years with the Veterans Administration.

In 1941, while working with the National Bureau of Standards, Mr. Gracely was sent to Baffin Island on an expedition to take magnetic messurements involving location of the North Pole. He was there from June to November.

Later, Mr. Gracely worked for several years with the Federal Communications Commission and the Central Intelligence Agency. He was with the analysis office of the Air Force for about 10 years before joining NASA.

He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Operations Research Society. He was a former first vice president of the National Genealogical Society.

He is survived by his wife, Loytle, of the home in Washington, and a sister, Dortohy E. Gracely, and twin brothers, Eugene M. and Elwyn F., all of Pitman, N.J.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society or Foundry Methodist Church.