Retired Army Lt. Col. John Edward McGlothlin, 55, a civilian management analyst for the Department of the Army, died Thursday while at work in the Pentagon after suffering a heart attack.

Col. McGlothlin was working in the office of the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations and plans. He had been with that office when he retired from military duty in February 1970.

He had served 27 years of active duty that included combat service in World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam war.

He was born in Drill, Va. He enlisted in the Army at the outbreak of World War II, participated in the landing at Omaha Beach in Normany and received a reserve commission in the field.

After the war, Col. McGlothlin left military service for two years, then returned to active duty as a noncommissioned officer. He went to Korea during the conflict there and was recommissioned.

He later saw duty in Alaska, Japan, Hawaii, Ethiopia and Vietnam, in 1965 and again in 1969. After his retirement, he sold insurance until returning to the Army as a civilian in 1971.

While in the Army, Col. McGlothlin earned a degree from the University of Maryland. He also was a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff School.

He is survived by his wife, Ruby, two daughters, Kay E. and Sheila M., and a son, Edward A., all of the home in Fairfax; two other sons, John P., of Houston, and Gary M., of Reston; his mother, Ida McGlothlin, of Wilmington, Del., and a sister, Chrysteen Pevny, of Pickerington, Ohio.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Northern Virginia Association for Retarded Children in Falls Church.