Esther N. de Calvo, 87 a former representative of the government of Panama to the Council of the Organization of American States, died Friday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mrs. Calvo came to Washington in 1949 and was appointed executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women by the secretary-general of OAS. She retired from that post in 1963, and then served for a number of years as the alternate representative with the rank of ambassador to the Council of the OAS from the Republic of Panama.

Born there, she was educated in Belgium, Mount St. Vincent's College in New York and Columbia University.

Before coming here, Mrs. Calvo had established herself as a leader in the fields of politics, education and social welfare in Panama.

She then returned to Panama, where she directed the Panama Normal School and established the Lyceum, a university preparatory school for women.

An active proponent of women's civil and political rights, Mrs. Calvo was elected to the Third Constituent Assembly in 1945 and played an important part in drafting the Constitution of Panama of 1946.

She was involved with the education code, the labor and sanitary codes, and the laws establishing the school of social service of the University of Panama and those creating the juvenile and delinquent's courts.

Mrs. Calvo, who held a number of honorary degrees from colleges in this country, had represented the Republic of Panama at numerous international conferences and conventions.

During World War II, she had been coordinator of cultural activities in Panama and became well-known for her goodwill to U.S. troops who were stationed there in large numbers.

She was the widow of Raul J. Calvo, a retired official of the Panamanian government who died here in 1958.

She is survived by a daughter, Gloriela, of the home in Washington, and a sister, julia Neira Ovalle, of Philadelphia.