Dr. W. Bruce Silcox, 82, an retired government agricultural economist who was active in church and community groups, died Sept. 25 at the Circle Terrace Hospital in Alexandria after a heart attack. He had lived in Alexandria since 1940.

Dr. Silcox came to this area with the Agriculture Department in 1937. During the last 15 years of his career before retiring in 1969, he was was an agricultural economist with the Department's Foreign Agricultural Service. In 1961, he was a delegate to tariff and trade negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. He had been an agricultural economist and business specialist with the Department of Commerce for four years during the 1950s.

He was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. He was had been board chairman of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Alexandria for 26 years. He had been an officer of the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers, and was a past president of both the North Ridge Citizens Association and the Alexandria Library.

Dr. Silcox was a native of Ontario, Canada. He was a graduate of the University of Toronto, and earned a master's degree at Iowa State University, and a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin. From 1930 to 1937, he worked for the Agriculture Department's extension service in Minnesota before coming to Washington.

His marriage to Ruth Silcox ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, Gordon B., of Dumfries, Va., and Frank H., of Englewood, Colo.; a daughter, Marjorie S. Moore of Nashville; two sisters, Bessie A. Silcox of London, Ontario, and Blanche Joiner of Lambeth, Ontario, and six grandchildren.