Dr. Adna L. Spencer, a Washington dentist for more than 48 years, died of cancer Saturday at the Manor Care nursing home in Hyattsville.

Dr. Spencer was born in Proctorville, Ohio. He first came to Washington in 1922 as an undergraduate at Howard University. He received his degree in dentistry in 1930 and practiced in the city until shortly before his death.

During his career, Dr. Spencer took several courses at the dental schools of Howard and Georgetown University and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to keep abreast of developments in dentistry.

He was a member of the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society, the National Dental Association, the D.C. Dental Society, the American College of Dentists and the American Dental Association.

He also was a member of the Chi Lambda Kappa honor society, the Kappa Upsilon honor society and the Chi Delta Mu medical-dental fraternity.

Dr. Spencer was a member of the D.C. Republican Central Committee. He also was a 33d degree Mason and a Shriner. He was a former member of the D.C. Advisory Council for Police-Community Relations.

He was a member of the Howard University Century Club, the H. M. Club of America and the Pigskin Club of Washington.

He was a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Washington and had served there as a vestryman and senior warden. He was a former member of the board of governors of the Episcopal Church Home.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth B., of the home in Washington; a daughter, Judith E., and a son, Richard B., both of the home; his mother, Elizabeth Johnson, of Washington, and one grandson. CAPTION: Picture, DR. ADNA L. SPENCER