Sarah Johnston Maycock, 60, a professor emeritus and retired head of the modern languages department of Montgomery College, died of cancer Wednesday at the Colonial Villa nursing home in Silver Spring.

Mrs. Maycock, who lived in McLean, joined the faculty of Montgomery College in 1963 and taught French and Spanish. She later was named chairwoman of the department of modern languages and held that position until her retirement in 1978, when she became a professor emeritus.

Mrs. Maycock was born in La Crosse, Wis., and grew up in Detroit. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., in 1940, and earned a master's degree in education from Columbia University the following year. She spent a year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris.

She taught in Detroit public schools until 1945, when she moved to Hagerstown, Md. She then taught at Hagerstown High School and later at Hagerstown Junior College. She moved to McLean in 1963.

Mrs. Maycock was a member of the Alliance Francaise, the American Association of University Professors and the Modern Language Association. a

Survivors include her husband, John C., of McLean; two daughters, Anne, of McLean, and Ellen M. Parker of Indianapolis, and a sister, Harriet J. Arthus of Silver Spring.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., 01075, with a notation that the gift is for the Sarah Johnston Maycock Scholarship Fund.