Myrna hazel dowell griffith, 71, a private duty nurse at Sibley and George Washington University hospitals for over 30 years before retiring in 1973, died of cancer Oct. 13 at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base.

Mrs. Griffith was a native of Montana and received her nursing training at Deaconess Hospital in Billings. She came to Washington in 1931 to study psychiatric nursing at St. Elizabeths Hospital.

She was a nurse at the old Sibley Hospital in the 1940s and 1950s, then worked at George Washington until retiring in 1973. She had been active in several professional organizations, including the D.C. Nurses Association.

Mrs. Griffith had lived in Mount Rainier and Hillcrest Heights before moving to White Plains, Md., about a year ago. She was a member of the Charles Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Her husband, James Melville Griffith, died in 1973.

Survivors include two sons, Roland Dowell Griffith of Norfolk, and Dale LeRoy Griffith of White Plains; two sisters, Patty Faust of Boise, Idaho, and Georgia Crack of Orlando, Fla.; four brothers, Murrell Dowell of Red Lodge, Mont., Cecil and Oral Dowell, both of Billings, Mont., and Virgil Dowell of Joliet, Mont., and six grandchildren.

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