Dr. George D. Gartland, 68, a retired physician and general surgeon who practiced in Washington for 29 years before retiring in 1976, died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm Thursday at the Greater Southeast Community Hospital. He lived in Hillcrest Heights.

Dr. Gartland had served on the staffs of Providence, Capitol Hill, D.C. General, and the Greater Southeast Community hospitals. During the 1950s, he had been director of graduate medical education at Providence Hospital. He was a past-medical director of Greater Southeast Community Hospital.

He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a diplomate of the American Board of Surgery. He was a member of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia, the American Medical Association, and the Washington Academy of Surgery.

Dr. Gartland was a native of Johnstown, Pa. He was a 1935 graduate of Villanova University, and earned his medical degree at Temple University in 1939. He served his internship and surgical residency at Providence Hospital. During World War II, he was an Army surgeon and served in the Pacific.

He was a past-president and founder of the Oakcrest Country Club. Dr. Gartland was a ham radio operator. His hobbies included playing the piano.

Survivors include his wife, Mary A., of Hillcrest Heights; three sons, Patrick F., of Baltimore, Michael M., of New Haven, Conn., and George D., of Hillcrest Heights; four daughters, Diane M., of Guam, Sandra S., of Kansas City, Mo., Marianne, of Manhattan, Kan., and Carol Anne, of Hillcrest Heights, and a sister, Shirley Jordan of Tequesta, Fla.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to either Temple University Medical School for the Greater Southeast Community Hospital.