Maurice Thomas Turner Sr., 68, a retired grants management specialist with the old Department of Health, Education and Welfare, died of cancer Sept. 6 at the Washington Hospital Center.

Mr. Turner, father of the District's chief of police and a lifelong resident of Washington, was active in civic affairs. He was a member of the Pleasant Plains Civic Association, the founding president of the 700 Block Girard Street Organization, a founder of the Three-Leaf Clover Club for children and a member of the NAACP. He also was a member of the Greater First Baptist Church.

He went to work for the federal government in the 1930s. He joined HEW, now the Department of Health and Human Services, when it was organized in 1953. He was a grants management specialist in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation when he retired in 1969.

Mr. Turner was a member of the credit committee, a director and a vice president of the HEW Federal Credit Union. He was named an honorary vice president when he retired.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth, of Washington; three sons, Maurice T. Jr., chief of the Metropolitan Police Department; Karl, of Upper Marlboro, and Frank, of Washington; three daughters, Doris T. Thorne, Patricia T. Swain and Linda Turner, all of Washington; a sister, Margaret E. Calderon, and a brother, Marcellus A., also of Washington; 17 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.