Donald Mayles Atwell Sr., 61, who retired from the Air National Guard Bureau in the Department of the Air Force in 1971 after 31 years of government service, died Sunday at Community Hospital in Daytona Beach, Fla., of hemochromatosis, a blood disease.

Mr. Atwell was born in Franklin, Pa. He came to Washington in 1936, and one of this first jobs here was driving a delivery truck. In 1940, he began working at the National Institutes of Health. He later worked for the old Army Air Corps and the War Assets Administration.

In 1951, he joined the Department of the Air Force as a long-range procurement officer. In 1968, he transferred to the Air National Guard Bureau, where he continued procurement work, for which he received the Eagle Award, until his retirement. He moved to Daytona Beach in 1972.

Mr. Atwell had been active in the Boy Scouts when he lived in Silver Spring. He was Scout master and chairman of the scouting committee of Troop 466, sponsored by St. John the Evangelist Church in Silver Spring.

Survivors include his wife, the former Roslyn Johnson, of the home in Daytona Beach; three sons, Donald M. Jr., of Rockville, Robert J., of Silver Spring, and John E., of the home; a brother, Gaylord E., of San Rafael, Calif., and a sister, Anna Ruth Starkloff, of Ormond Beach, Fla.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Kidney Foundation, 1145 19th St. NW, Washington, 20036.