Lois A. White, 78, a retired vice president and secretary of the board of directors of the National Bank of Washington, died Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital after surgery for an intestinal obstruction. She had cancer.

Miss White, who was born in Herndon, graduated from the old Central High School in Washington in 1920. She also attended the Washington School of Secretaries. She began her banking career in 1920 with the Federal American National Bank.

Federal American merged with the Hamilton National Bank. In 1945, Miss White was elected an assistant cashier and secretary of its board of directors. Hamilton later merged with the National Bank of Washington. In 1955, Miss White was elected a vice president and secretary of its board. A news account of her promotion said it was believed she had attained the highest position of any woman in Washington banking circles at that time. She retired in 1968.

Miss White, who lived in Washington, was a founding member and the first president of the Bank Women's Club of Washington. She also was a charter member of the Pilot Club of Washington, which was organized in 1939 under the auspices of Pilot International, a non-profit service organization for professional women.

She was a member of All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

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