Ira M. Farmer, 60, a retired official of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission who was an area resident for 53 years before retiring and moving to Florida in 1978, died April 15 in a hospital in Orlando, Fla., after a heart attack. A former Beltsville resident, he lived in Orlando.

He was a member of the WSSC's safety and security division for 32 years, and its director for 10 years, before retiring.

Mr. Farmer was a member of the American Association of Retired Persons and had been a member of the 10-Gallon Club of the Red Cross. He was a native of North Carolina. Before joining the WSSC, he had been a test pilot in Maryland and an outfielder in the Washington Senators baseball organization.

His marriage to the former Geneva Clark ended in divorce.

Mr. Farmer's survivors include his wife, Betty Jane, of Orlando; three children by his first marriage, Ira L. and Ronald, both of Orlando, and Joyce Madonna of Colorado Springs; two stepsons, Randolph and Ricky Hounshell, and a stepdaughter, Barbara Hounshell, all of Orlando; two brothers, Carl, of Orlando, and Mark, of Greenbelt; two sisters, Margaret Weiss and Sadie Aquillino, both of Beltsville, and eight grandchildren.