Finis F. Engleman, 82, executive secretary of the American Association of School Administrators here from 1956 to 1963, died of cancer Monday in Hartford, Conn.

He had been senior consultant to Overseas Schools Department's Office of Overseas Schools since the office was established 14 years ago. It works with American-sponsored schools all over the world. He had lived in Hartford since 1963.

While serving as AASA secretary, Dr. Engleman was chairman of the U.S. delegation to the International Conferences on Public Education in Geneva, Switzerland in 1956-57. He also was a member of the U.S. delegation to the 1958 general conference on UNESCO in Paris.

Earlier, he had been vice chairman of the 1955 White House Conference on Education and president of the Council of Chief State School Officers. He also had been a member of the governing board of the UNESCO Institute of Education in Hamburg, Germany, and of the board of consultants to the National War College.

Born in Dunnegan, Mo., Dr. Engleman was a graduate of Southwest Missouri State College. He earned a master's degree from the University of Missouri and a doctorate from Yale University.

He was a teacher, principal and superintendent in various school district is Missouri before moving to Connecticut in 1932. There he was president of New Haven State Teachers College and state commissioner of education.

In 1964, Dr. Engleman received the American Education Award of the AASA - Education Industries Association.

He had served as a naval aviator in World War I and as a commander and executive officer of a naval air station in World War II.

He is survived by two daughters, Nancy Lowe, of Hartford, and Virginia Dehn, of New York City, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Finis E. Engleman scholarship fund at Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven or the Ruby Lane Engleman Memorial Library in Athens, Greece.