Jeannette C. Gladstone, 63, director of the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Special Events since 1975, died of cancer Friday at her Alexandria home.

Mrs. Gladstone joined the Smithsonian as a clerk-typist after moving to this area in 1964, and transferred to the Office of Special Events in 1968.

She was responsible for the planning and scheduling of a number of Smithsonian functions, including the 1973 inaugural ball and the 1975 state dinner for the emperor and empress of Japan, held at the institution's original building, the Castle. She was cited for exceptional service by S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian, in 1968 and 1977.

Mrs. Gladstone was born in Pittsfield, Mass. A graduate of the Beth Israel School of Nursing in Newark, N.J., she was a registered nurse in Newark and New York City before her marriage to Dr. Robert W. Gladstone. He died in 1974.

Survivors include a son, Richard A., of Great Falls, Va.; a sister, Rose Kanter of Pittsfield, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Hospice of Northern Virginia Inc., P. O. Box 1590, Arlington, 22210, or to the American Cancer Society of Virginia in Vienna.