Clarence Richardson (Squirrel) Turner Sr., 53, who retired from the D.C. Department of Recreation earlier this year after 36 years of service died of cancer Friday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

Mr. Turner, who was born in Washington, graduated from Cardozo High School. He began his career with the Recreation Department in 1944 as a junior assistant. He joined the department's permanent staff in 1957 and was a recreation specialist and director of the Rabuat Junior High School Recreation Center at the time of his retirement.

In the course of his career, Mr. Turner took courses in connection with his work at Virginia Union University, the Univeristy of Illinois and the University of Maryland.

A resident of Washington, he was a member of the Capital View Citizens Association and of the board of directors of Capital View Plaza, a housing project. He also was a member of the Parent-Teachers Association of Evans Junior High School in Washington and of the United House of Prayer.

Survivors include his wife, Kathleen E. of Washington; four daughters, Maria Brown, Brenda Tilman and Joan and Diane Turner, all of Washington; two sons, Carlton and Clarence, also of Washington; three stepchildren, William H. and Gwyndolyn D. Berry and Carolyn D. Holloway, of Washington, and nine grandchildren.