Esther Bortnick Bondaroff, 76, who helped run a series of family grocery stores in the Washington area for almost 50 years, died of cardiac arrest Monday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Bondareff was born in Odessa, Russia. She and her family moved to the United States and Washington in 1905. In 1923, she married Harry Bondareff and in 1927 they opened a grocery store in Mount Rainier. In 1935, they moved to Alexandria and opened another store. About 1945, they closed that business and opened one in Washington. They operated it until 1959, when they took over a store in Chevy Chase. That business was sold following Mr. Bondareff's death in 1964.

Mrs. Bondareff was a member of Hadassah and the Pioneer Women, that Metropolitan Heart Guild, B'nai B'rith, the Jewish Council for the Aged and of the Tifereth Israel Congregation, where she also was active in the sisterhood.

Mrs. Bondareff lived in Silver Spring. Her survivors include two children, Dr. Erwin Bondarff, of Alexandria, and Dr. Bette Marcus, of Potomac; two brothers, Joseph and Morris Bortnick, of Chevy Chase; two sisters, Fay Kossow, of Bethesda, and Ruth Kopit, of Chevy Chase, and eight grandchildren.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to a charity of one's choice.