Rowland F. Walther, 62 who retired from the Food and Drug Administration in 1972 after 31 years of service, died of cancer Friday at Prince George's Hospital in Cheverly.

Mr. Walther was born in Lodi, Calif. After earning bachelor's and masters degrees from Ohio State University, he joined the FDA in San Francisco in 1941. He also did graduate work at the University of California.

He was stationed in Seattle, Wash., for several years before being transferred to FDA headquarters here in 1960. He was a program analyst in the agency's drug division when he retired.

After leaving the government, Mr. Walter worked as a consultant for a dried fruits association here.

A member of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, he completed in the senior men's division of some of its national tournaments. He also was a member of the Cheverly Swif ano Racquet Club.

Mr. Walther's survivors include his wife, Gayle, of the home in Cheverly, and three children, Donna Lee, of St. Paul. Minn., Kit C., of Helena, Mont!, and Jacqueline Ota. of Pitisfield, Pa.

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