walt R. Simmons, 68, who was a government mathematician and statistician for more than 30 years before retiring in 1973, died of cancer Saturday at the Oak Meadow nursing home in Alexandria.

Mr. Simmons joined the government in 1941 as a mathematical statistician with the Social Security Board, and later worked for the War Manpower Commission and the Bureau of Labor Statistics before joining the Public Health Service in 1957.

He was chief statistical advisor to the National Health Survey in the late 1950s, and was assistant director for research and development of the National Center for Health Statistics from 1967 until retiring in 1973.

Following his retirement, he worked as a consultant to both government and private industry and also worked on the ethical issues involved in the protection of information obtained by government surveys.

Mr. Simmons was an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a fellow of the American Public Health Association.

He was the recepient of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's Superior Service Award and the Labor Department's Meritorious Service Award.

Mr. Sommons was a native of Kansas. He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Kansas, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He served in the Navy during World War II.

He had lived in Alexandria for more than 20 years.

Mr. Simmons taught math and statistics at American University for 17 years.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth M., and two sons, Calvert and Randolph, all of Alexandri; a daughter, Patricia D. Wilson of Columbus, Ohio, and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Summerfield Scholarship Fund at the University of Kansas Alumni Office, Lawrence, Kan., 66044.