Gary P. Brent, 41, the general mail room foreman at The Washington Post with responsibility for the packaging of newspapers at all three of the company's printing plants, died of cancer Nov. 4 at North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie.

Mr. Brent, a resident of Millersville, Md., was born in Baltimore. He began his newspaper career at The Post as a young man, working as a part-time inserter in the mail room at the main building on 15th Street NW. Mailers are the employes who bundle the newspapers for distribution. Inserters are employes who assist mailers by seeing that special sections printed in advance -- the D.C., Maryland and Virginia weekly sections, for example -- are inserted into each copy of that day's paper.

Mr. Brent served his apprenticeship as a mailer at the Merkle Press and The Wall Street Journal. He joined The Post full time in 1970 as an assistant foreman in the mail room at the 15th Street plant.

Since then, the newspaper has acquired the plant of the old Washington Star in Southeast Washington and opened a new printing plant in Springfield. For the past three years Mr. Brent had been general foreman for all three plants.

In private life Mr. Brent had been a vice president and manager in the Harundale Little League baseball program. He also bowled in several leagues and his bowling average was above 200. He had a perfect 300 game to his credit. He also played golf.

Survivors include his wife, Jo Ann, and two sons, Gary P. Jr. and Jeffrey P., all of Millersville, and two brothers, Ronald T., of Baltimore, and Norman L., of Houston.