Dr. C.F. Scalessa, 70, a Washington pediatrician for the past 42 years who was active in church and volunteer groups, died of cancer March 18 at Providence Hospital.

Dr. Scalessa, who lived in Washington, was born in Summit, N.J. He moved here to attend Georgetown University, where he received both bachelor's and medical degrees. He interned at Providence Hospital. In the course of his career he was chief of residency at Children's Hospital.

He was a member of the American Medical Association and the D.C. Medical Society.

Dr. Scalessa was a physician for teams at several Catholic schools in the area and received several awards for this work. He was active in the Catholic Youth Organization and a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of St. John and the parish of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.

He also was a member of the Congressional Country Club and the Columbia Golf and Country Club.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, the former Florence Giovannoni, of Washington; two sons, Donald F. of Wilmington, Del., and Richard R. of Washington; two daughters, Mary Ellen Glynn of Annandale, and Donna Marie Burke of Columbia; two sisters, Philomena Guida and Anna Vitale, both of Summit; two brothers, Dr. Mario of Brick Town, N.J., and Rocco of New Providence, N.J., and six grandchildren.