Barbara Walker Kerwin, 61, who was active in volunteer and military service organization, died of cancer Wednesday at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

During the early 1970s, she was president of the Fellowship Committee of the Army Distaff Hall, and was secretary-treasurer of the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen's Club from 1974 to 1979.

She accompanied her husband, retired Army Gen. Walter T. Kerwin Jr., to posts in this country, Germany, France, Greece, and Turkey.

During her years in Europe in the early 1960s, she contributed her time to American Red Cross blood mobile programs and hospital clinic projects. She also worked with the Military Council of Catholic Women.

She was given the Francis Cardinal Spellman Award for her charitable work and, in 1977, was granted the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Papal award in a ceremony at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Mrs. Kerwin had been a lector at the chapels at both Fort Meyer and Fort McNair.

She was a native of New York City, and was a graduate of the old Edgewood Park Junior College near there. She lived in Carmel, Calif., before marrying Gen. Kerwin in 1940. They had maintained a home in Alexandria since 1960.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Army Maj. Bruce R., of Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; a daughter, Margaret Ann Krumsiek of Alexandria, and three grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy by in the form of contributions to Cancer Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, 20012.