Harold D. Fangboner, 74, chairman of the board of Group Hospitalization Inc. of Washington and a retired vice president of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. who was active in charitable and cultural organizations, died of respiratory failure Friday at Georgetown University Hospital.

Mr. Fangboner became chairman of the board of Group Hospitalization (Blue Cross and Blue Shield) in 1973 and had been a member of its board since 1961.

He moved to the Washington area in 1930 and joined C&P as a management trainee. After serving in the Navy in World War II, he returned to C&P and held various management positions before retiring as vice president of public affairs in 1972.

He was a member of the board of directors of the National Symphony Orchestra and had served on the old D.C. Citizens Traffic Board.

During the 1960s, Mr. Fangboner was president and general campaign chairman of the United Givers Fund, which later became the United Way. Under his stewardship, the fund raised millions of dollars for local charities.

Also in the 1960s, he was general chairman of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Mr. Fangboner was a former director of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Washington; a member of the board of directors of the Salvation Army and the Travelers Aid Society of Washington; a director of Children's Hospital; and a vice president of Goodwill Industries and the Kiwanis Club.

In the 1970s, he was director of the D.C. Society for Crippled Children and served on the Bicentennial Commission for the National Capital Area. Earlier this year, the Society for Crippled Children honored him with a life membership on its board of directors.

In 1974, the Salvation Army gave Mr. Fangboner its highest award, the Heart to God, Hand to Man Award.

His other civic roles included service as a director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and the National Foundation of the March of Dimes.

Mr. Fangboner, who lived in Chevy Chase, was born in Fremont, Ohio, and was a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts.

He was a member of the Chevy Chase Club, the Princess Anne Country Club and the Metropolitan Club. He attended St. John's Church, Lafayette Square, in Washington.

Mr. Fangboner's son-in-law, Michael D. Barnes, is Democratic congressman from Maryland's 8th Congressional District, which covers most of Montgomery County.

Survivors include his wife, the former Jean Hatton, of Chevy Chase, whom he married in 1943; a son, Kent M., of Olney; a daughter, Claudia Barnes, of Kensington; a brother, Robert B., of Fremont, Ohio, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Travelers Aid Society of Washington or to St. John's Church, Lafayette Square, Washington.