Clarence Hendershot, 77, a former missionary, government official and educator, died Thursday at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney following a heart attack.

Dr. Hendershot was born in Bad Axe, Mich. He was educated at Alma College in Alma, Mich., and the University of Chicago, where he earned master's and doctoral degrees.

A year after his graduation from Alma in 1923, he went to Rangoon, Burma, to teach in a high school there as a Baptist missionary. From 1928 to 1931, he taught in California and at the University of Alabama. He returned to Rangoon in 1932 and spent the next three years as a history professor at Judson College there.

Dr. Hendershot returned to the United States in 1935 and resigned from the Baptist missionary service. He spent the next nine years teaching in California and Chicago.

He began his government career in 1944 as a specialist on Southeast Asia for the Office of War Information here. He was assigned to Rangoon as an officer of the old U.S. Information Service in 1945-46. He then became a public information officer at the State Department. Other assignments concerned the United Nations and the old International Cooperation Administration, where he was chief of the Asian branch of the education division.

From 1957 to 1961, Dr. Hendershot was chief of education for the U.S. mission to Korea, and from 1961 to 1965 held a similar post in Iran.

He left the government that year and became assistant dean for international services at Southern Illinois University. He retired in 1972 and moved to Rossmoor Leisure World in Silver Spring.

Dr. Hendershot was a member of the Asian Scholars Association, the China Round Table, the Kiwanis International and First Baptist Church of Silver Spring.

Survivors include his wife, Elva, whom he married in 1928, of the home; a daughter, Elaine Munson, of Silver Spring; a son, James B., of Sudbury, Mass., and four grandchildren.