Chester D. Okerlund, 60, a retired construction official with the Defense Department whose government career spanned more than 30 years, died of cancer Monday at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital in Arlington.

Mr. Okerlund was born in Minot, M.D. He earned a degree in civil engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1941, and then served in the Army Corps of Engineers in North Africa and Europe during World War II.

He left the service with the rank of captain and worked for the old Civil Aeronautics Administration in North Dakota and the Navy Department in Hawaii.

In 1951, he came here and joined the Defense Department. At his retirement in 1974, he was deputy director of construction in the office of the assistant secretary of Defense (Comptroller).

Mr. Okerlund earned a master's degree in engineering administration from George Washington University in 1957.

He held the Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service Medal from the Defense Department. He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Survivors include his wife, Phyllis, of the home in Arlington; two sons, Thomas L., of Richmond, and Robert C., of Slidell, La.; his mother, Rose Okerlund, of Springdale Conn.; a sister, June Dondlinger, of Darien, Conn., and two brothers, Robert of Minneapolis, and James, of Las Vegas, Nev.