Gertrude Dunham Arrendell, 60, who taught elementary grades in the Prince George's County public school system for 31 years before her retirement last June, died of cancer Monday at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore.

Mrs. Arrendell was born in White Oak, N.C. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education at Winston-Salem State University in 1942 and then taught in the Bladen County, N.C., school system. She moved to Washington in 1944.

She began her career in the Prince George's schools in 1949. In 1957, she earned a master's degree in elementary education at Columbia University. She was at the Glenarden Woods Elementary School in Glenarden at the time of her retirement. On that occasion she received expressions of gratitude from the Maryland State Senate and the mayor and City Council of Glenarden.

Mrs. Arrendell was a member of the National Education Association. She also was a member of the Second Baptist Church in Washington.

Survivors include her husband, Martin Van Buren Arrendell of Washington; two sons, Martin Van B. Jr. and Carlton M.; her mother, Louise Dunham, two brothers, Johnny C. and Willie N. Dunham, all of Washington; and four sisters, Maceo D. Hubbard of Philadelphia, and Mildred D. Hill, Clarice D. Jones and Ruby Ersell D. Id, all of Washington.