Edith Allen Jamison, 81, a former Washington area resident who workd as a hostess for the Church of the Pilgrims here for several years, died of pneumonia Wednesday at a nursing home in Walnut Creek, Calif.

She moved to Arlington in 1971 after the death of her husband, retired Army Col. James Franklin Jamison, and worked for the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington for several years. She made arrangements for church functions, greeted members and served as a hostess at church-related affairs.

Mrs. Jamison had accompanied her husband, an officer in the Quartermaster Corps, to military posts in Germany, where they were stationed after World War II, and in Texas and Maine. A longtime resident of Arlington, she lived in Potomac with a daughter, Mary Suzanne Caldwell, for two years before moving to California last year. She was a former member of St. Mark United Presbyterian Church in Rockville.

She was born in Louisville, Ky., and graduated from Sullins College in Bristol, Va.

Besides Mrs. Caldwell, survivors include another daughter, Jane Allen Hart of Danville, Calif.; a son, James F. Jr., of Whitefish Bay, Wis.; nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Institute on Aging, the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, or to St. Mark United Presbyterian Church, Rockville.