Bennett Durand, 71, a retired civilian employe of the Navy Department, died of cancer Friday at Brooklyn Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In 1941, Mr. Durand went to work for the Navy Department as a draftsman. He later became an artist-illustrator. At the time of his retirement in 1973, he was supervisor of the department's in-house publications.

Mr. Durand also was a portrait and landscape painter. His portrait of the late Judge Henry W. Edgerton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia hangs in the U.S. District Courthouse here.

He was born in Washington and attended Western High School. In 1928, he graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Mr. Durand moved to Brooklyn in 1976.

He was a member of St. Alban's Church in Washington and St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Hyattsville.

Survivors include two daughters, Lucy Sikes of the home in Brooklyn, and Anna Shaw of New York City; a brother, Dana Bennett Durand, of Washington, a sister, Mary Durand Bancroft of Arlington, and five grandchildren.

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