Retired Col. Edward M. Starr, 84, an infantry officer who was chief of operations of the Ohio State Civil Denfense organization after leaving the Army, died at the Springfield Hospital in Sykesville, Md., Sunday following a heart attack.

Col. Starr was born in Stuebenville, Ohio. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1918 and was commissioned into the infantry. He held various assignments in the United States and also served in the Panama Canal Zone.

During World War II, he commanded the 124th Infantry Regiment of the 31st Infantry Division and took part in the campaigns in New Guinea and the Philippines. He later served with the U.S. Military Commission in Brazil and held various staff assignments in Washington and elsewhere in the United States. He retired in 1954.

From 1954 to 1966, he was chief of operations of civil defense in Ohio. He had lived in Bethesda since then.

His military decorations include the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal and the Bronze Star.

Survivors include his wife, Jean F., of Bethesda, a son, Edward M. Jr., and a daughter, Barbara S. Gleason, both of Bethesda; a sister, Edith Montgomery, of Elyria, Ohio, and five grandchildren.