Kathleen E. Ford, 68, a government employe for more than 20 years and a lifelong resident of the Washington area, died Saturday at Fairfax Hospital. She had arteriosclerosis and diabetes.

Mrs. Ford was born in Washington and grew up in Arlington. She graduated from the Washington School for Secretaries.

In 1936, she went to work for the old Social Security Board, where she helped organize records. During World War II, she became a clerk-typist in the Pentagon. Over the next 20 years, she worked for the Navy, Army and Air Force departments. She retired in 1963.

From 1965 to 1967, she was a credit clerk in the Hecht Co. department store.

Mrs. Ford was a member of the Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington. She also was a member of the Edgar Cayce Foundation in Virginia Beach, which is devoted to psychic healing. She also was chairman of a fund-raising committee for Arlington Hospital.

Her husband, Welford F. Ford Sr., died in 1975.

Survivors include a son, Welford F. Jr., of Herndon; a daughter, Patricia A. Woolfenden of Arlington; two sisters, Hazel E. Scott of McLean, and Marian G. Gattermann of Arlington, and six grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Diabetes Foundation.