Constance Rowe White, 77, an artist and sportswoman who was active in volunteer organizations, died of leukemia Saturday at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.

She was the widow of retired Air Force Gen. Thomas D. White, a former Air Force chief of staff, who died in 1965.

For many years, Mrs. White had been chairman of the Christmas Table Committee of the House of Mercy in Washington. First from her home in Fort Myer and finally from her home in Westmoreland Hills, Bethesda, she directed the preparation of that organizations's Christmas Bazaar.

She had served on the House of Mercy Board for the past 20 years.

Mrs. White was a water-colorist and an artist who worked in ceramics and was known for her needlework. She studied water colors in Japan while her husband was stationed there. Her paintings were later hung at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.

Mrs. White was born in Assam, India, to British parente. She met Gen. White while he was serving as air attache at the American Embassy in Rome. They were married in 1938 and she accompanied him to posts both in this country and abroad.

Both Mrs. White and her husband were avid fishermen, whether it was for salmon at their fishing retreat in Canada or for exotic fish elsewhere in the world.

Among Mrs. White's more noted catches was a Brazilian fish, the Cynolebias Constanciae, a previously unidentified fish that was named in her honor. She was decorated by the Brazalian government for her contributions to the science of ichthyology.

Mrs. White's last public appearance was on June 5, 1980, when the National Geographic Society presented the General Thomas D. White Air Force Trophy to Air Force Maj. Gen. John E. Kulpa Jr.

The trophy is awarded annually for the most outstanding contribution to the nation's progress in aerospace, and was established in 1961 by Dr. Thomas W. McKnew, board chairman of the National Geographic Society.

Mrs. White's survivors include a sister, Mrs. E. M. R. Stone of London, England, and a stepdaughter, Mrs. T. Haliburton Mcycoy of Boyce, Va.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to The House of Mercy, 2000 Rosemont Ave. in Washington, or the the Leukemia Society of America Inc., in Washington.