Lawrence C. Pickett, 63, an investigator in the Office of the D.C. Recorder of Deeds and a Washington resident for the last 17 years, died of cancer Tuesday at his home here.

Mr. Pickett was born in Canton, Ill., and grew up there and in Muskegon, Mich. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II and then returned to Muskegon, where he worked in a filling station and restaurant.

In 1947, after the death of his first wife, the former Ann Brightwell, Mr. Pickett, moved to Dallas where he managed the local branch of the tyler Barber College. He later managed the company's Houston branch and then moved to Washington at the end of 1963.

He managed the Lincoln Theater here from 1967 to 1970, and then Murry's Steaks until about 1973, when he joined the Office of the Recorder of Deeds.

Mr. Pickett had received an Outstanding Performance award and a Certificate of Commendation for his work.

His marriage to his second wife, the former Ruby Morgan, ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons by his second marriage, Lawrence C. Jr. and Henry, both of Houston, a sister, Mildred C. Pickett of Washington, and a brother, E. Keith Pickett of St. Louis, Mo.