Gilbert A. Washington Sr., 57, an engineering technician at the Naval Engineering Center here, died at D.C. General Hospital Monday of cardio-pulmonary arrest. He was stricken at his home in Washington.

Mr. Washington was born in Marbury, Charles County, Maryland. He grew up there and in Washington. He graduated from Armstrong High School here and attended the old Agricultural School of Accounting.

He began his government career in 1942 at the Bureau of Ships in the Navy Department. The following year, he went into the Army and served in the Pacific during World War II. He returned to the Navy Department after leaving the Army and had 37 years of government service at his death.

Mr. Washington was a member of the Chapel of St. Philip the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Washington. He was chief adviser to the acolytes at the church and was a lay reader and a chalicist.

He also was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the NAACP, the Greater Anacostia People Association and the Neighborhood Advisory Board.

Survivors include his wife, the former Mabel Norton, of Washington; three sons, Gilbert A. Jr., of Fresno, Calif., Kevin J., of Washington, and Steven C. a soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.; two daughters, Sylvia S. Bruce and Carolyn E. Washington, both of Washington, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions in Mr. Washington's name to the Chapel of St. Philip the Evangelist Episcopal Church.