Robert J. Fitzsimmons, 71, a retired hospital administrator with the Public Health Service and a retired major in the Army Reserves, died of cancer Aug. 24 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Maj. Fitzsimmons, who lived in Gaithersburg, was born in Findlay, Ohio. He enlisted in the Ohio National Guard in 1927 and was commissioned a lieutenant in the infantry in 1937. He was a commercial artist in Columbus, Ohio, until 1940, when he was called to active duty in the Army.

During World War II, he served in Europe with the Army Medical Department. He later served in the occupation of Germany. He was stationed in Colorado when he returned to inactive status in 1952. He retired from the Reserves in 1971.

Maj. Fitzsimmons graduated from the University of Denver in 1955 and earned a master's degree in hospital administration from the University of Minnesota in 1957.

He joined the Public Health Service in Denver, later worked at an Indian hospital in Oklahoma and was transferred to PHS headquarters here in the early 1960s. He retired in the late 1970s.

He was a member of the American College of Health Care Administrators, the Health Services Planning Board of Montgomery County, the Reserve Officers Association and the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans.

Survivors include his wife, Beatrice, and a son, Robert F., both of Gaithersburg; two sisters, Evelyn Harmon of Toledo, Ohio, and Vivian Bodeau of Breckenridge, Colo., and one granddaughter.