Pamela B. Paul, 49, a Red Cross volunteer who also had been active in behalf of retarded children, died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center Sunday following an operation to repair an aneurysm.

Mrs. Paul moved to the Washington area in 1971. Since then, she had been a Red Cross worker at DeWitt Army Hospital at Fort Belvoir. At the time of her death, she was the Red Cross chairman of the hospital's family health center and its pharmacy section.

The family had lived in Key West, Fal., before moving here and Mrs. Paul had served there as the president of the Monroe County (Fla.) Association for Retarded Children. She also had been active in the Florida Association for Retarded Children.

Mrs. Paul was born in New York City and grew up in the New York area. She graduated from Duke University in 1950 with a degree in English and then worked for about a year as a reporter on the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal. In 1951, she married Milton O. Paul, a naval officer.

Survivors include her husband, now a retired Navy captain, of the home in Alexandria; four children, Stuart, of Brunswick, Maine. Jennifer King, of Alexandria, and Andrew and Lucinda, both of the home; her mother, Mrs. E. H. Bedell, of Danby, Vt., and a brother, Stuart Bedell, of Houston, Tex.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Northern Virginia Retarded Citizens Association, 105 East Annandale Rd., Falls Church.