Clifton Hall Carter Jr., 61, an area resident since 1964 who was electrical engineer and project manager with the E.C. Ernst Corp., died of congestive heart failure June 16 at Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Carter joined E.C. Ernst, a Washington electrical contracting firm, in the mid-1960s and was project manager for them at the Washington Cathedral from 1965 to the late 1970s. During this time he helped supervise the rewiring of the entire Cathedral complex and the installation of modern communications systems.

Mr. Carter was born in Florence, Ala., and reared in Trenton, Tenn. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He was an offer in the Army Air Forces during World War II, serving in this country and briefly with the occupation forces in Germany.

Between 1947 and 1964 Mr. Carter was an official of electrical construction companies in New Jersey and New Jork, residing for much of that time in Glen Ridge, N.J. He had lived in Springfield since 1966.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, May Edith Carter, of Springfield; a daughter, Carol May Dunn of Alexandria; a son, Clifton Hall III, of California, and his mother, Mary Rose Carter of Trenton, Tenn.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the charity of one's choice.