Vernon VanCleve Houts, 65, who was an administrator in the Prince George's County public school system for 17 years before retiring in 1974, died April 10 at his home in North Fort Myers, Fla., after a heart attack.

He was a supervisor with the board of education in Prince George's County for a year before becoming principal of Frederick Sasscer Junior High in Upper Marlboro in 1958. He held that post until he was named principal of Samuel Ogle Junior High in Bowie in 1967. During his last three years with the system, he was vice principal at Stephen Decatur Junior High in Clinton.

Mr. Houts was a native of Topeka, Kan., and came to the Washington area in 1944. He lived in Camp Springs before moving to Florida.

He was a 1936 graduate of Baker College in Baldwin, Kan., and earned a master's degree in secondary school administration at George Washington University.

Prior to joining the Prince George's school system, he had been a teacher, administrator and guidance counselor in schools in Montgomery County and on the Estern Shore of Maryland.

Mr. Houts was a member of the National Education Association, the National and Maryland retired teachers associations, and the National and Maryland congresses of the PTA.

Survivors include his wife, D. Lucille, of North Fort Myers; three daughters, Linda Carpenter and Karen Francher, both of Silver Spring, and Sandra Fluharty of Upper Marlboro, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American DiabetesAssociation.