Albert J. Yetter, 87, a retired security guard at the Smithsonian Institution and a resident of the Washington area for more than 70 years, died of arteriosclerosis Saturday at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home Hospital in Washington.

Mr. Yetter was born in Philadelphia and moved to Washington in 1908. He worked for the old Kann's Department Store until 1914 and then became a taxicab driver.

During World War I, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to a cavalry regiment. He saw service in France.

From 1920 to 1941, he was a driver for the Southern Dairies company. For part of that time, he also was secretary of his local of the Teamsters Union.

In 1941, Mr. Yetter joined the Smithsonian as a security guard. He remained there until his retirement in 1962. From that time until 1975, when he retired a second time, he was a part-time messenger at Catholic University.

Mr. Yetter, who lived in College Park, was a member of St. Mark's Catholic Church in Adelphi.

His wife, the former E. Gertrude Glorius, died in 1962. A son, Fred J. (Jack) Yetter, died earlier this year.

Survivors include a daughter, Sister Marie Yetter of the Daughters of Charity in Baltimore; a son, George R., of College Park; 17 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.