Harold A. Burch, 83, a retired official of the U.S. Maritime Commission who retired from the Navy reserves as a captain in 1959, died Oct. 29 at the Fernwood nursing home in Bethesda after a stroke. He lived in Bethesda.

Capt. Burch was a native of Rochester, N.Y., and a 1924 graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master's degree in business administration at American University.

He served as an Army medical corpsman in France during World War I, and was an officer in Naval Intelligence during World War II and the Korean War. He retired from the reserves in 1959.

Between 1924 and 1939, he worked for the Commerce Department and the old National Recovery Administration in London, England, and in Needham, Mass. He moved to Washington in 1939 and became a trade and commercial analyst with the Maritime Commission's far east and Australian branch. He retired from the Commission as a section chief in 1956.

From 1960 to 1977, Capt. Burch was a consultant with the Naval Reserve Association. He was a member of the Masons, the Society of Mayflower Descendents, and The Fossils.

His wife of 47 years, the former Blanche Dinn, died in 1972.

Survivors include a son, Bayard A., of San Diego; three daughters, Elizabeth B. Justus of Plainview, N.Y., Lorraine B. Haynes of Catonsville, and B. Carol Lewald of Darnestown; a sister, G. Lorraine Burch of Bridgehampton, N.Y.; 13 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.