C. Phyll Horne, 59, who retired in February as chief of the Federal Communications Commission's field operations bureau and who was a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, died of cancer Thursday at George Washington University Hospital.

After joining the FCC in 1962, Mr. Horne worked in the office of the chairman of the commission and was deputy chief engineer for two years. He was appointed cheif of field operations in 1974.

He represented the commission at international radio conferences and as a communications consultant to foreign government.

Earlier, he was a weather specialist for the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Army. He had received training as an engineer dealing with meteorology while serving in the Army during World War II.

In the 1950s, Mr. Horne was a consultant engineer for the Washington firm of James C. McNary Associates, which specialized in radio broadcasting and construction of television and radio stations throughout the country.

Mr. Horne was born in Tremonton, Utah, and was reared there and in Salt Lake City. He was a graduate of the University of Utah and did graduate work at Chicago, Harvard and MIT.

A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he was a church youth leader in the 1950s and in 1957, was instrumental in establishing a seminary program here, the church's first such program east of the Mississippi River.

A resident of Falls Church, he subsequently served as bishop of the Falls Church ward and later was appointed to the high council of the Potomac Stake, which has about 5,000 members.

In 1974, as Potomac Stake executive secretary, Mr. Horne worked with local community leaders in arranging accommodations for the approximately 1 million people who attended opening day ceremonies for the church's temple in Kensington. He arranged for the materials placed in the temple's cornerstone.

Since 1977, Mr. Horne was regional executive secretary of boty the Potomac and Capitol regions, comprising of Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Survivors include his wife, the former Leila Rae Welling, a son, David W., and a daughter, Rebecca Lee, all of Falls Church; two sons, Michael P., of Arlington, and Conrad B., of Anaheim, Calif.; three daughters, Kathleen Ann Bjarnason of Denair, Calif., Deborah Kay Wise of Dallas, Tex., and Judith Lynne Hansen of Merced, Calif.; a brother, seth M., of Phoenix, Ariz.; a sister, Deane Jacobsen of Salt Lake City, and 11 grandchildren.