Irene Trigg McDuffie, 82, a high school teacher and counselor in Washington until her retirement in 1963, died of pneumonia Sunday at Washington Hospital Center. She had leukemia.

A biology teacher, Mrs. McDuffie began her career in education in Baltimore. In 1925, she began teaching at the old Armstrong High School in Washington. She transferred to Eastern High School, from which she retired about 1956.

She also was one of the first high school counselors to be appinted after they were introduced in Washington's schools.

Mrs. McDuffie was born in Knoxville, Tenn. She moved here with her family at an early age and granduated fro the old M Street High School.

She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Cornell University and a master's degree in education from Columbia University. She also did graduate work in biology at the Marine Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass.

Her husband, Clyde C. McDuffie, was a former director of the department of foreign languages for divisions 10 through 13 of the D.C. public school system. He died in 1961.

Mrs. McDuffie lived in Chevy Chase. She was active in the Plymouth Congregational Church of Washington and a member of the Washington chapter of Links Inc.

Survivors include a brother, Kermit Trigg, of Los Angeles.