Grace Houchen, 97, a retired physical education teacher at the old Western High School here who was active in volunteer work at the Washington Cathedral, died Monday at the Washington Home. She had pneumonia.

Miss Houchen was born in Indiana and grew up in Washington. She graduated from Eastern High School in 1903 and from the old Washington Normal School in 1905. She began her career in education as a teacher in the elementary grades of the D.C. school system.

A few years later, she became a physical education teacher. She remained in the D.C. school system until 1917, when she resigned to become head of the physical education department at Fredericksburg Teachers College, now Mary Washington College, in Fredericksburg, Va. She later headed physical education programs in Casper, Wyo., and Globe, Ariz.

Miss Houchen then moved to Nashville, Tenn., where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the George Peabody College for Teachers.

In 1934, she returned to Washington and rejoined the school system. She taught briefly at Jefferson Junior High before joining the faculty at Western High. She remained there until her retirement in 1948.

For many years, Miss Houchen was an aide at Washington Cathedral, acting as a guide for visitors and working as a volunteer in its visitors center. She was a member of the parish of St. Alban's Church.

Miss Houchen leaves no immediate survivors.