Sarah A. Templin, 51, a paralegal specialist with the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Quality Service Division, died Friday at the Doctors' Hospital of Prince George's County after a heart attack.

Mrs. Templin came to this area in 1960 and began working for Agriculture as a secretary in 1969. After earning a paralegal certificate from George Washington University Law School in 1975, she became a paralegal specialist with the division's freedom of information office. She was deputy coordinator of the office at the time of her death.

She was born in Green Bay, Wis., and earned a bachelor's degree with distinction in languages from the University of Michigan in 1949.

Mrs. Templin lived in College Park and attended the Riverdale Presbyterian Church.

Her marriage to Jackson P. Templin ended in divorce.

Survivors include three sons, Matthew, of the home, John D., also of College Park, and Douglas, of Davidsonville, Md.; a daughter, Amy, of Blacksburg, Va.; her mother, Frances Wilcox, also of the home; and two sisters, Susan Kamrath, of Sandy Hook, Conn., and Frances Metzger, of Cleveland, Ohio.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Kidney Foundation.