Francis (Frank) Oxley, 66, a retired government photographer and longtime resident of the Washington area who was active in musical groups, died of cancer Monday at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Oxley was a native of Wheeling, W.Va., and a resident of Arlington.

He came to this area in 1937 and went to work as a messenger with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1940, he became a photographer with the Department of Agriculture. During World War II, he served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

Following the war, he returned to his civilian government career, working for the U.S. Geological Survey, and in the late 1950s, joining the old Weather Bureau of the Commerce Department. He retired in 1978 as a photographic laboratory chief of the Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Mr. Oxley was a vocalist and bass fiddle player who performed with a number of groups in area clubs over the past 40 years. For 20 of those years, he was affiliated with Ralph Graves Productions. He was a life member of Local 161-710 of the American Federation of Musicians.

Survivors include his wife, Betty, or Arlington; a daughter, Donnelle L., of Dale City; a son, Richard W., of Woodbridge; a stepson, Jack G. Bruster of Falls Church, and six grandchildren.