Richard Cook Norris, 51, a retired Coast Guard chief petty officer who later worked as a civilian employe of the Washington Navy Yard before retiring earlier this year, died of cancer Sunday at his home in Temple Hills.

Mr. Norris was a native of Prospect Park, Pa. He enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and later transferred to the Coast Guard, serving at Coast Guard facilities at Elizabeth City, N.C., and as an oceanographer at the Coast Guard oceanographic facility in Massachusetts.

He retired from the Coast Guard and came to this area in 1967. He worked as a physical science technician at the Washington Navy Yard.

Mr. Norris was an assistant district commissioner of the Boy Scouts in Temple Hills.He belonged to the Scout's Order of the Arrow, a camping society, and held the Wood Badge, for completing a special training course.

He was a charter member of the Cousteau Society, and had belonged to the Military Benefit Society and the Retired Chief Petty Officers Association.

Survivors include his wife, Helen, of the home, two sons, Frank C., of Temple Hills, and Richard R., of Baltimore; his mother, Anna Cook Kerr, and a brother, Robert B., both of Blytheville, Ark.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Boy Scouts of America, the American Cancer Society's Swimathon, or the U.S. Coast Guard's Adm. Roland Loan Program at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington.