Jay H. Axtell, 66, a retired letter carrier with the Silver Spring Post Office and a World War II veteran of the Navy Seabees, died of lung cancer Friday at Eldersburg, Md.

Mr. Axtell, who was born in Conrad, Iowa, moved to the Washington area in 1936. Until he went into the Navy in 1942, he worked for The Green Grocery Store in Takoma Park.

In the Navy, he was one of the first to go into the Construction Battalions (the Seabees). He served in the Pacific.

After the war, he went to work for the Post Office Department and was a letter carrier in the Sliver Spring office when he retired in 1972 with 30 years of service. He was a resident of Silver Spring until 1977, when he moved to Woodbine, Md.

Mr. Axtell's survivors include his wife Frances W. Axtell, of Woodbine, one stepson, David C. Jordan, Jr., also of Woodbine, and one brother, Harold C. Axtell, of Berkley Springs, W. Va.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Jay H. Axtell Memorial Fund, E.C.W. of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box, Lisbon, Md. 21765.