Malin Craig Jr., 79, a retired colonel in the Army field artillery who later taught geometry in the Montgomery County public school system, died of cancer Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Col. Craig, who was born into an Army family in Manila, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1924, but was commissioned in the Army. Before World War II, he served at various posts in the United States, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was an English instructor. He also did a tour of duty in the Canal Zone.

During the war, he was the artillery executive officer of the 90th Infantry Division and took part in fighting in Belgium, France and Germany.

After the war, his assignments included Hawaii, inspector of artillery at the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces at Fort Monroe, Va., the Army Historical Division in Washington, and Regular Army adviser to the D.C. National Guard. He retired from the last post in 1954. His military decorations included the Bronze Star Medal and the Legion of Merit.

Col. Craig, who lived in Chevy Chase, then earned a master's degree in education at the University of Maryland. He taught geometry in the Montgomery school system from 1956 until his second retirement in 1970. He spent most of those years at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda.

Survivors include his wife, the former Margaret Baughman, of Chevy Chase; two daughters, Margaret Sheehy of Marin County, Calif., and Helen C. Lynch of Irvington, N.Y.; two sons, Joseph M. III, of Dallas, and Peter C., of Washington, and five grandchildren.