Bruce Dunsmore, 52, a retired architect who specialized in educational institutions and an area resident for 10 years, died of cancer Saturday while vacationing in Cancun, Mex.

Mr. Dunsmore was associated with the architectural firm of Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall for 20 years. He worked for the firm in California before moving to the Washington area in 1969. He was involved in the planning and development of education institutions in this area and along the Eastern seaboard. He retired about two years ago and remained with the firm as a consultant until about a year ago.

A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Mr. Dunsmore graduated from the University of Southern California.

He was a former resident of McLean and had lived in Potomac for about seven years.

Survivors include his wife, Juanita, of Potomac; a daughter, Christine, of Council, Idaho; a son, Christopher (Chip), of Hayfolk, Calif; two stepsons, Richard Perez of Atlanta, Ga., and Rodrigo Perez of Laurel; two stepdaughters, Diana Perez of Los Angeles, and Joanna Perez of Potomac, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to The Linus Pauling institute of Science and Medicine, 2700 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, Calif., 94025.