Jeanne Anderson, 45, an editor and writer for various publications in Washington for nearly 20 years, died Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital of complication from a liver ailment.

She was the editor of the Washington Drug and Device Letter, then a pu blication of McGraw-Hill, from 1969 to 1974.

More recently, Mrs. Anderson had been a senior analyst with the Government Research Corp. and Washington editor for the McGraw-Hill newsletter, Textile Week.

She was the wife of Joe Holt Anderson, a former editor and now editor for the National Crominal Justice Reference Service.

Mrs. Anderson was born in Little Falls , minn. A graduate of the Murphy School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota, she worked briefly at the Minneapolis Tribune. She studied on a Scholarship in internationalcommunications at the Masachusetts Institute of Technology.

She had been a speech writer and press aide to Orville L. Freeman, when he was governor of Minnesota. She had worked here as a legislative and editorial aide for the National Associaton of Retail Druggists and as Washington correspondent for McGtraw-Hill's Medical World News.

Mrs. Anderson was coauthor with her husband of a book, "The in the Kitchen," published in 1974, and of a number of food articles in The Washington Post.

She was a member and former officer of The Newspaper Guild and was among the first group of women to be installed as members of the National Press Club. She had served as an usher at the Washington Cathedral since 1973.

In addition to her husband, of thehome in Washington, she is survived by two daughters, Judith, of New York City, and Gwyneth, of the home, her mother, Margaret Fortier, of Little Falls, and a sister, Natalie Brostrom, of Minneapolis.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Washington Cathedral or the Irving Leuchtter Fund of The Newspaper Guild.