Russell H. Dawson, 58, an official of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a retired Army lieutenant colonel, died of cancer Wednesday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Since July 1976, Col. Dawson had been director of mobile home standards in HUD. He previously had served as a HUD area director in Rottland, ore. He began his career with HUD in 1964 in Seattle, working first with an urban renewal agency and then as director of community development for the Seattle regional office.

A native of West Point, Miss., Col. Dawson attended Howard University here and Northwestern University in Evanston, I11. He earned a degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army in 1942 and served in the Pacific in World War II. He later served in the Korean conflict. His decorations included the Bronze Star and two Army Commendation Medals. He retired from the Army in 1964.

He is survived by his wife, Alicia G., a son, William, and two daughters, Yvette and Renee, all of the home in Washington; another son, Russell H., and another daughter, Debra Ballard, both of Seattle; a sister, Louise Stone, of Washington; four brothers, Richard, of Detroit, and William, Claude, and Johnny, all of Washington, and two grandchildren.