Edgar E. Poulton, 66, a retired government economist who was active in church organizations, died Monday at Fairfax Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Poulton was a native of Rinard Falls, Ohio, and came to Washington in 1939 as an economist with the Labor Department.

In 1943, he joined the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as an economist and writer. Except for a two-year stint with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, he was associated with the FDIC until his retirement last March.

He was a member of the American Economic Association and was a frequent contributor to its publications as well as those of the FDIC.

For the last 21 years, Mr. Poulton lived in McLean, where he was a member of the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church.

He oganized and prepared study guides and courses for the church's Lenten studies programs for many years. An ordained elder, he represented Lewinsville as its commissioner to the National Capital Union Presbytery.

Mr. Poulton also served on the nominating committee of the church and on its Church and World, Christian Education, worship and pastoral nominating committees. He was a member of a number of Presbytery committees and recently represented the Presbytery at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (Southern).

Before moving to McLean, Mr. Poulton had resided in Washington for 20 years and had been active in the Sixth Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder.

Mr. Poulton graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College in Ohio in 1937. He earned a master's degree in economics at the University of Cincinnati in 1938 and did postgraduate work at Ohio State University.

Survivors include his wife, Peg, of McLean; two daughters, Patricia of Washington, and Elizabeth, of Falls Church; a son, Mark W., of Wooster, Ohio; a brother, Ralph E., of Columbus, Ohio; a sister, Ethel Devore of Woodsfield, Ohio, and one grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Edgar E. Poulton Memorial Fund at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, 1724 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, 22101.