Harry F. Carter, 68, who retired from the Hecht Company department store in 1972 after more than 35 years of service with the company, died of emphysema Monday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Mr. Carter was born in Washington, graduated from McKinley Technical High School and then from the University of Maryland, where he earned a degree in business administration. He joined the Hecht Company about 1936 and became its personnel manager.

When Hecht's opened a store in the Parkington section of Arlington, he was named its manager for operations and service. He later returned to the downtown Washington store and was the personnel manager there at the time of his retirement.

During World War II, Mr. Hecht, who had been in the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Maryland, was called to active duty in the Army. He served in the Quartermaster Corps and later in military government. He was assigned to Korea when the war was over. He retired from the Army Reserves in 1955 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Carter, who lived in Silver Spring, was a Mason and a Shriner.

Survivors include his wife, Mary K., of Silver Spring, and one son, William D., of Baltimore.