Elsa Barragan, 53, a retired executive secretary with KMS Fusion, a laser research company here, who was active in service organizations, died of cancer Sept. 3 at the Hoover Pavilion Hospital in Stanford, Calif.

Mrs. Barragan, who was born in Tupiza, Bolivia, came to the United States in 1962 and settled in Ann Arbor, Mich. She was a secretary at the School of Public Health of the University of Michigan until 1972, when she joined KMS Fusion in Ann Arbor.

The company transferred her to its Washington office in 1976 and she remained with it until her retirement in 1980 for reasons of health.

Mrs. Barragan, who lived in Arlington until moving to Menlo Park, Calif., earlier this year to be near her children, was a member of the Damas Bolivianas, a service organization for Bolivian women, and active at the Arlington Senior Center.

Her marriage to Javier Ergueta ended in divorce and she resumed use of her maiden name.

Survivors include one son, Javier Ergueta, and one daughter, Taia Ergueta, both of Menlo Park, two sisters, and three brothers.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Damas Bolivianas, c/o Teresa Weinger, 1730 Great Falls St., McLean, Va., 22101.