Hilda Branch Mendenhall, 60, who operated concession stands at city and federal government buildings here for nearly 30 years and who was active in the National Federation for the Blind, died of cancer Monday at Doctors Hospital.
Mrs. Mendenhall, a native Washingtonian, had been blind since infancy as a result of congenital glaucoma.
After attending the Maryland School for the Blind, she worked for local laundries. She also sold newspapers and peanuts at the old Griffith Stadium and operated a corner news-stand before starting the first of her concession stands.
The stands were located in the State Department, D.C. police headquarters, the old USIA, and in recent years, the Department of Labor, where she supervised five employes. She stopped working in March because of failing health.
Mrs. Mendenhall was active for many years in the National Federation for the Blind and other groups for the visually handicapped. She was among a group of activists whose protest in the 1940s led to legislation that permitted the blind to use government property for gainful employment and independent licensing.
Her first husband, William Sylvester Daugherty, died in 1970. Her second husband, Clarence N. Mendenhall, died last year.
Survivors include a daughter, Carmen Daugherty, of the home in Washington; a son, Kenneth W. Daugherty, of Phoenix, Ariz.; her stepmother, Althea Branch, of Washington; of New York City, Milton and Bernard Branch and William Nelson all of Philadelphia.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society or to the National Federation for the Blind. CAPTION: Picture, HILDA B. MENDENHALL