John H. Callow, 60, vice president of group relations for Group Hospitalization Inc., the Blue Cross plan for the national capital area, died of cancer Thursday at Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Callow palyed a key role in developing the government-wide Blue Cross and Blue Sheild Service Benefit Plan, which serves nearly 6 million federal employes and dependents.

He joined GHI in 1942 and subsequently served as federal employe program manager and enrollment director. He was appointed vice president of marketing in 1969 and became vice president of group relations earlier this year.

A native of Washington, Mr. Callow earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from George Washington University. He also attended Southeastern University in Washington and the University of Michigan. He served in the Naval Reserve before World War II.

Mr. Callow was a former scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 689 in Annandale. He was on the board of directors of the Rotary Club and the River Bend Golf and Country Club in Great Falls.

Survivors include his wife, Gyneth, of the home in Herndon; three sons, John, of Herndon, Richard, of Sterling, Va., and Thomas, of Phoenix; a sister, Rita Marcopulos, of Annandale; three brothers, Robert of Upper Marlboro, Joseph, of Wheaton, and Edwin, of Burtonville, Md., and five grandchildren.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.