Dr. Helena Keehne Lietwiler,78, a specialist in remedial reading who retired from the Montgomery County school system in 1974 and who also taught at George Washington University, died Sept. 21 at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center. She had cancer.

Dr. Lietwiler, who lived in Bethesda, was born in Pomeroy, Ohio. She graduated from Western College for Women. In 1932, she married John Marion Lietwiler, a Navy officer who retired as a captain. She accompanied him to various stations in this country and also to Guam and Hawaii.

After the family settled in the Washington area in 1954, she took master's and doctoral degrees in education at GWU and taught there from 1958 to 1959 and again from 1966 to 1972.

From 1954 to 1958, Dr. Lietwiler taught in the Alexandria school system. In 1958, she joined the Montgomery County schools. She was a remedial reading and special resource teacher until 1974, when she retired from Walter Johnson High School.

Dr. Lietwiler was a member of the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the American Personnel and Guidance Association, and the National, Maryland and Montgomery County education associations. She also was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church Norwood Parish.

Her husband died in 1978. Survivors include two children, Charles J., of Rockville, and Christian W., of Springfield; three sisters, Margaret Davis of Athens, Ohio, Ruth Ebersbach of Roseland, N.J., and Emmy Lou Sweeney of Amsterdam, Ohio, and three grandchildren.