Thomas H. Podelco, 58, the chief security guard for the General Research Corporation of McLean, died of cancer June 29 at his home in Chevy Chase.

Mr. Podelco moved to the Washington area in 1957 when he joined John Hopkins University's Operations Research Office as a security guard. He was promoted to specialist in 1963. He became chief security guard with the old Research Analysis Corp. in 1969 and continued to hold that post after the RAC was purchased by the General Research Corp. in 1972.

He was a native of Piedmont, W.Va. After serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in Europe during World War II, he returned to West Virginia and was security guard at the state penitentiary at Moundsville before moving here. In 1965, he graduated from the industrial security management course at Fort Holabird, Md.

Mr. Podelco was a member of the American Legion and the National Sheriffs Association.

Survivors include his wife, Lois, of Chevy Chase; a stepdaughter, Joan Fitzhugh of Patuxent, Md.; three brothers, Frederick, of Keyser, W. Va., Edward, of Syracuse, N.Y., and George, of Maryland; three sisters, Dorothy Farabaugh of Lanham, Irene Podelco of Piedment, W. Va., and Anna Mary Cobb of South Carolina; two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.