Alma Rose Parker, 74, a retired secretary with the Army Corps of Engineers who was active for many years in the Burnt Mills Knolls Mixed Bowling League in Wheaton, died Sunday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. She had cancer.

Mrs. Parker was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., and attended business college there. She began her career with the federal government with the Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga and remained there until 1944, when she moved to Minneapolis.

In 1956, she moved to the Washington area and four years later went to work for the Federal National Mortgage Association. She later joined the Housing and Home Finance Agency. In 1960, she went to work as a secretary at the board of engineers for rivers and harbors of the Corps of Engineers. At the time of her retirement in 1968 she was assigned to the executive office of the resident member of that board.

Mrs. Parker worked for an automobile agency in Takoma Park for two years before retiring a second time in 1970.

She was a long-time member of the Burnt Mills Knolls bowling league and played on the Odd Couples team. She continued that activity until 1978.

Mrs. Parker was a member of the parish of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Silver Spring and was active in its senior citizens group. She also had been a volunteer in the Montgomery County public school and library systems. She lived in Silver Spring.

Survivors include her husband, Edwin S. Parker, of Hyattsville; three sons, Edwin C., of Londonderry, N.H., Eric L., of Arlington, Tex., and Joseph D., of Middletown, Md.; one daughter, Shirley R. Parker, of Austin, Tex., one brother, James J. Underwood, of Kensington, Ga.; one sister, Lillian Clingan, of Covington, Va., and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.