Henry C. Gregory, 78, who was an administrator in the Montgomery County public schools for 22 years before retiring in 1969, died of cancer Sunday in the Collingswood nursing home in Rockville.

He was principal of the old Silver Spring Intermediate School from 1947 to 1950, then spent five years as principal of Western Junior High School. He was principal at Walter Johnson High School from 1957 to 1963, and then was an area director with the school system until retiring in 1969.

Mr. Gregory was a native of West Virginia. He earned a bachelor's degree at Glenville State College in Glenville, W. Va., a master's degree in history at the University of Michigan, and a law degree at West Virginia University.

He served with the Army Air Crops during World War II. His service included a tour as executive officer of a heavy bombardment group in the Southwest Pacific. He retired at the end of the war with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Gregory came to this area in 1941 and lived in Bethesda before retirement from the Montgomery county schools. He had returned to this area earlier this month.

His wife, the former Margaret Stalnaker, died in 1960. Mr. Gregory's survivors include a son, William, of Gaithersburg; a brother, Herbert, of Saint Albans, W. Va., and two sisters, Fannie, of Flatwoods, W. Va., and Grace Dean of Czar, W. Va.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to either the American Cancer Society or the National Audubon Society.