Edward A. Lynch. 70, a former labor arbitrator in Pennsylvania and Washington, died Thursday at Georgetown University Hospital after suffering an apparent stroke.

A resident of Washington since 1961, he had been self-employed until retiring several years ago.

Mr. Lynch had been on the panels of arbitrators of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Mediation Board and the American Arbitration Association.

He had been involved in a number of major national labor disputes, representing at various times the federal government as well as unions and management in private industry. He had been on presidentially appointed labor arbitration boards in the Eisen-hower and Kennedy administrations.

Mr. Lynch had served as the umpire of the Anthracite Board of Conciliation and as permanent umpire in several districts of the bituminous coal industry. He had been on the board of governors of the National Academy of Arbitrators.

He was born in Mahanoy City, Pa. He first came to Washington in 1935 and served here for 10 years as an assistant to an official of the United Mine Workers of America. Later he worker for the Philadelphia Reading Coal and Iron Co. before becoming an arbitrator.

He is survived by his wife, the former Marie Campbell, of the home; two sons, Edward A. Jr. and Dr. John H., both of Washington: two daughters, Mary Hays, of Wilmette, Ill., and Annamarie Hand, of Maplewood, N.J., three sisters and nine grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the University of Notre Dame Merit Scholarship Fund in South Bend, Ind.