Adolph E. Gude, 61, president of a Washington and Rockville nursery and active in civic and professional organizations, died of cancer Sunday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

Mr. Gude was born in Washington and moved to Rockville at an early age. He entered the family business, A Gude Sons, after attending the University of Maryland. He became president of the business in 1963 and held the post until his death.

The company's landscape work included projects at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society, at Lord & Taylors in Chevy Chase, and for the Equitable Life Insurance Co. All these projects received awards from professional organizations.

Rosalynn Carter presented Mr. Gude with an award by the American Association of Nurserymen at a White House ceremony in 1977. The award was for the Gude collection designed for Broodside Gardens in Montgomery County.

Mr. Gude had helped design the gardens and donated rate plants to the public park from his private collection.

Mr. Gude was president of the Maryland Nurserymen's Association in 1973 and had been president of the Mid-Atlantic Society of American Florists. He was chairman of the National Capital Flower and Garden Show in 1962.

He was a member of the advisory board of the First National Bank of Maryland.

He had served for two years as chairman of the Montgomery County Easter Seal Society, was a member of the board of directors of the Barnesville Primary School, and had been president of the Rockville Rotary Club.

Mr. Gude was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Rockville where he had served on the vestry and been both a junior and senior warden. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Episcopal Home.

He was a past master of Temple Noyes Masonic Lodge No. 32, and a member of the Montgomery Commandry, the Almas Temple, and the Royal Order of Jesters.

He was a member of the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Society and has built his own sailplane. He also was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

He served as a Navy flight instructor during World War II and attained the rank of lieutenant commander.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, both of the home in Rockville; two other daughters, Lacey Ann, of Washington, and Georgeann Wood, of Poolesville; a sister, Elizabeth Doonan, of Rockville; a brother, former U.S. Rep. Gilbert Gude (R-Md.), of Bethesda, and two grandchildren.