George W. Cox, 59, business administrator of the D.C. Rehabilitation Center for Alcoholics at Occoquan, died of cardiac arrest Thursday at Fairfax Hospital. He lived in Alexandria.

He had been with the center since 1967, when he retired with the rank of major from the Army after seeing combat in Vietnam.

Mr. Cox began military service with the Marine Corps in World War II.

He was a pilot in the South Pacific. Discharged at the end of the war, he became a personnel director for an upholstery manufacturer in Philadelphia. h

He was recalled to active duty during the Korean conflict and saw combat in that country. He then transferred to the army as a pilot. He had a tour of duty in Germany prior to going to Vietnam. During his military career, he flew dive bombers, fighter planes and helicopters. His decoration included a Purple Heart.

Mr. Cox was born in Philadelphia. He attended the University of Pennsylvania.

He was a member of Legeune Lodge 350 of the Masons in Quantico, the Scottish Rite in Alexandria and Acca Temple of the Shrine in Richmond.

He is survived by his wife, the former Pauline (pat) Hoch, of Alexandria; four children, Jeri, of Alexandria, Roger, of Norristown, Pa., Cynthia of Charlottesville, Va., and Donna Lickado, of South Boston, Va., and a sister, Mrs J.m. Matonich, of Cinnaminson N.J.

The family suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Central Fairfax Service for Retarded Persons in Falls Church.