Anthony C. Nocella, 76, who was a government architect for 31 years before retiring from the Department of the Air Force in 1968, died March 18 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. He had diabetes.

Mr. Nocella came to Washington in 1937 and worked for a short time for the federal Housing Administration. He then became an architect and group chief with the Army's old Quartermaster Corps.

He transfered to the Air Force directorate of civil engineering in 1949, and worked on Air Force housing and hospital design ad well as on military programs.

Mr. Nocella received the Air Force Civilian Service Meritorious Medal in 1968.

He was a member of the American Insititute of Architects and the Knights of Columbus.

Mr. Nocella was a native of Brooklyn, and earned a degree in architecture at The Cooper Union in New York City. He worked for a New York City Architectural firm before coming to Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Marie, of Kensington, where the family lives; a son, Dr. Reynold A., of Milwaukee, a daughter, Nancy J. White of Baltimore; four brothers, seven sisters, and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association, or the the American Diabetes Association.