Elvin D. Sutton, 52, a retired colonel in the Army reserves who worked at the Naval Sea Systems Command before retiring for reasons of health in April of this year, died of cancer Oct. 25 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington.

Col. Sutton was a native of Indiana and a 1957 graduate of the University of Kentucky where he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering. He had served in the Army as an enlisted man from 1945 to 1951, received an officer's commission after graduating from college, and retired from active duty as a major in 1962. He retired from the reserves in August 1979.

He joined the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in Silver Spring as a civilian engineer and program manager. He worked there until joining the Naval Sea Systems Command in 1973, where he was an administrator.

Col. Sutton was a resident of Ashton, where he was a member of the Ashton Methodist Church. He was a Mason and belonged to the Scottish Rite. He was a member of the American Legion.

Survivors include his wife Lois and a daughter, Shana, both of Ashton, and two sisters, Ruby Allen of Indiana, and Aline Hopwood of Lexington, Ky.

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