Margaret, L. Marks, 69, a painter, translator, and teacher who was a longtime area resident, died of cancer Monday at her home in Leesburg.

Mrs. Marks had exhibited her figurative paintings and works of abstract expressionism in shows in New York City and Northern Virginia.

During the early 1970s, she had exhibited paintings with the Art League of Virginia in Alexandria and with the Loudoun Museum.

For the past two years her works had hung with United Nations art shows in New York. She also had a March 1980 show at the Ward-Nasse Gallery in New York City.

Mrs. Marks was born in London, England, to American parents and reared in New York City. She attended Wellesley College and then studied sculpture under Jose de Creeft and painting under George Grosz and Hans Hofmann.

She came to Washington in 1942. Over the years she accompanied her husband, Edward B. Marks, an official with the Agency for International Development and the United Nations, to posts in Europe and Africa.

While living in Lagos, Nigeria from 1969 to 1971, she had volunteered her time as a reading teacher. She was a volunteer reading teacher at Shaw Junior High School in Washington in the mid-1960s.

Mrs. Marks also translated foreign folk song lyrics into English. About 150 of these songs were published in children's song books by Time Inc.

During the past two years, the Markses had divided their time between homes in Leesburg and New York City.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Thomas, of Vancouver, Canada; a daughter, Katharine Marks of New York City; a brother of Harold Levi of Torrance, Calif.; two sisters, Helen travis of San Pedro, Calif., and Sylvan Rich of Los Angeles.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to UNICEF, or to the Planned Parenthood Association.