Theodore Popowsky, 61, a master electrician and former electrical contractor in the Washington area, died of cardiac arrest Monday at Lighthouse Point, Fla.

He had operated the Petworth Electric Co. Inc. in Washington for about 30 years before he retired in 1977. He had been active in a number of associations in his field.

Mr. Popowsky was born in Washington and was a graduate of Central High School. He had lived in Washington, Rockville and Silver Spring and then more recently with a daughter in Gaithersburg.

For the past year, he also had maintained a home in Lighthouse Point.

Mr. Popowsky was a former president of the Electrical Contractors Association of Washington and of the Master Electricians Association of the National Capital Area, which he confounded.

He also cofounded the Contractors and Masters Apprenticeship Council, which he had served as chairman. He was a former chairman of the D.C. Electrical Board.

Mr. Popowsky had received honors from the Small Business Administrations and the University of Maryland for his work as an electrical contractor.

His first wife, Mary Ann Popowsky, died in 1976. He recently married the former Doris Groves.

In addition to his wife, survivors include three daughters, Judith Feigin of Gaithersburg, Virginia Perkins of Poolesville, and Myrna Garcia of Wheaton; a son, Louis, of Washington; three stepchildren, Larry Groves of Charlottesville, Wayne Groves of Fairfax, and Judyth Bost of Atlanta; two brothers, Hyman Popowsky of Hyattsville, and Nathan Preston of Rockville; a half-brother, Sol Alexander of San Jose, Calif; two sisters, Edith Rubin of Pompano, Fla., and Frances Wall of Washington; a half-sister, Florissa Alexander of Atlanta, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Kidney Foundation or the Heart Associaton.