Kathryn Marriott Kaufholz, 76, the founder of Ellen Kaye Inc., the Washington-based wholesale and retail distributor of artificial flowers, died of cancer July 24 at her home in Chevy Chase.

Mrs. Kaufholz was born in Marriott, Utah, and graduated from Weber Junior College and the University of Utah. She taught school in Utah for two years before moving to Washington in 1934.

She founded Ellen Kaye Inc. in the mid-1950s and managed the business for about 10 years before retiring. Before that she had been director of advertising for the Social List of Washington, a sales agent for Chevy Chase Realty and had worked for the Department of the Interior and NBC.

She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had been active in its Sunday school program. She had also done volunteer work for the Horace Mann School PTA and the Florence Crittenton Home. She was a member of the Time Club and Bethesda Country Club.

Her husband, Ferdinand Kaufholz Jr., died last December.

Survivors include three daughters, Kathryn E. Jewel of Washington, Carolyn M. Taylor of Pelham, N.Y., and Sharon S. Port of Plano, Tex.; three brothers, Paul M. Marriott of Bal Harbour, Fla., Woodrow D. Marriott of Washington and Russell S. Marriott of Kensington; two sisters, Helen M. Dougan of Salt Lake City and Eva M. Candland of Phoenix; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.