Gertrude Palecek Roddy, 71, an artist and former teacher, died Monday at her home in Rockville after a heart attack.

She came to Washington in the early 1940s after teaching in public elementary schools in Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio.

Mrs. Roddy had been associated with the Sisters of the Holy Cross at St. Angela Hall, both the Holy Cross academies in the Washington area and Dunbarton College, where she taught art education in the 1960s.

She was a member for many years of the Glenwood Road Garden Club in Bethesda. She held several offices in the club and participated in voluntary community work, including providing decorations for the main Christmas tree at Suburban Hospital.

As a member of the Air Force Officers Wives Club, Mrs. Roddy had been cited for her 15 years of volunteer work in the children's ward at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

She was born in Cleveland and received a bachelor's degree from Western Reserve University there.

She is survived by her husband, Vincent S. Roddy of Bethesda; four daughters, Patricia O'Keeffe of Bowie, Florence Di Misa of Silver spring, Brenda Rogers of Kent, Ohio, and Beatrice Engram of Bel Air, Md.; a sister, Florence Kuzio of Cleveland, and 10 grandchildren.