Jack C. Goldthorpe, 74, a retired engineer, and his wife, Emma Carroll Goldthorpe, 73, a retired nurse, were killed July 5 in a traffic accident on Rte. I-81 about 20 miles north of Scranton, Pa. They lived in Silver Spring.

An official of the Pennsylvania State Police said Mr. Goldthorpe had a heart attack, lost control of his car, crossed into oncoming traffic, and hit another vehicle head-on. The Goldthorpes, who were returning from a family reunion in Watertown, N.Y., were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. Goldthorpe was born in Newton Falls, N.Y., and grew up in Watertown. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering at Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y. He moved to the Washington area about 1936 and worked for the Worthington Pump and Machinery Corp. until he retired in 1969. He then worked for the Gaithersburg power division of the Bechtel Corp. In 1975, he retired there as a senior engineer.

He was a member of the Lions and Elks clubs, the Rosensteel Council of the Knights of Columbus, St. Bernadette's Catholic Church and the Holy Name Society. He also belonged to the Capital City Jazz Club, where he played the banjo in various bands.

Mrs. Goldthorpe, who was born in Watertown, trained as a nurse at Crouse Irving Memorial Hospital. From about 1959 until she retired in 1974, she was a supervisor at a number of nursing homes in the Washington area, including Althea Woodland, Manor Care, Wheaton Manor and Colonial Villa. She also had been a volunteer nurse at St. Bernadette's.

She was a former president of the Mothers Club at St. John's College High School and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The Goldthorpes are survived by two sons, Coast Guard Capt. Jack C., of Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif., and Chief Warrant Officer James C., an Army helicopter pilot, of Silver Spring, and four grandchildren. Mr. Goldthorpe also is survived by a sister, Irene Shantz of Fresno, Calif.