During the late 1920s and the early 1930s, Mrs. Tucker worked with labor organizer A. Philip Randolph in the national effort to urge black sleeping car porters to support a labor union. The union would represent their interests with the Pullman Co., the nation's largest single private employer of black men.

"Organized labor was new to us," said Mrs. Tucker in an interview with The Washington Post. "Many of {the porters} didn't understand, didn't want to risk losing their jobs. Some stood with the company against the union."

Mrs. Tucker's husband, Berthea J. Tucker, a sleeping car porter for 35 years, was dismissed at one point when his employer found that his wife was active in the union effort.

She often told the story of how, upon learning that her husband had been fired, she made her way to Union Station and confronted the Pullman Co.'s regional director face-to-face.

"Why are you taking it up?" she recalled being asked by the supervisor. " 'Why,' I said, 'I am here because you brought me into it. If you don't take care of this matter, I will be back.' "

The next day, Berthea Tucker was back on the trains. He died in 1967.

In 1937, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the Pullman Co. signed a contract. It was the first between a major American corporation and a union of black workers.

Mrs. Tucker became the international secretary of the union's ladies' auxiliary, which she also had helped organize.

In 1982, Mrs. Tucker narrated the film "Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle," a documentary about her work with the Brotherhood. In the film she told how the struggles of sleeping car porters had, in part, led to the civil rights efforts of later years.

The battle for a labor union for blacks was fought during the Great Depression when the climate was not favorable for blacks or unionized labor.

For many years, a position as a sleeping car porter represented a high level of employment in the black community. Unionized porters enjoyed a steady job, regulated hours, and an impressive wage by the standards of the day.

Mrs. Tucker was born in Washington and attended the old M Street High School, now Dunbar High. She worked briefly as a government messenger before beginning her career of community and public service. She continued to serve until the last years of her life.

Mrs. Tucker was a past president of the Public Interest Civic Association and served as a liaison between the black community and the old D.C. Board of Commissioners. She also had testified before congressional panels about community problems.

In 1983, she received a humanitarian award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Candace Award for leadership from the Coalition of 100 Black Womens' Clubs. She also received an award for outstanding service from the NAACP.

She was an elder of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church, where she had been superintendent of Sunday School and director of the Summer Vacation Bible School.

Her first husband, Dr. James David Corruthers, died in 1916. Her only child, Henry Corruthers, died in 1957.

She leaves no immediate survivors.

RAFAEL M. SALAS, 58, the executive director of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities and a leading expert on world population issues, was found dead March 4 in his room at the Holiday Inn at 550 C St. SW in Washington. He suffered from heart ailments and diabetes and authorities attributed his death to natural causes.

Mr. Salas, who also was a U.N. undersecretary general, had been executive director of the UNFPA since 1969. He had been instrumental in raising $1.5 billion from participating governments for population-related programs ranging from family planning to national census efforts, health care and urbanization programs. In 1984 he was secretary general of the International Population Conference in Mexico City.

Before joining the United Nations staff, Mr. Salas was executive secretary of the government in the Philippines, director of that nation's rice and corn sufficiency program, and acting chairman and executive director of the Philippines National Economic Council.

He was born in the Philippines and graduated from the University of the Philippines. He earned a master's degree in public administration at Harvard University.

Mr. Salas was in Washington for a series of meetings with government and diplomatic officials when he died.

Survivors include his wife, Carmelita Rodriguez Salas, and two sons, Ernesto Luis and Rafael Miguel, all of New York City.

USUF NAZEER, 70, who worked for the Voice of America for 30 years before retiring in 1984 as chief of its Urdu section, died March 1 at the National Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Hospital in Arlington after a heart attack. He lived in Arlington.

Mr. Nazeer was a graduate of Punjab University in his native Lahore, Pakistan. He worked for the BBC in London for about 10 years before coming to this country and joining the VOA in New York in 1954. When the Voice moved its headquarters to Washington later that year, he moved here.

Survivors include his wife, Kadija Nazeer of Arlington; two sons, Aftab A. Nazeer of Washington and Munier A. Nazeer of Arlington; two daughters, Freda Nazeer Reed of Atlanta and Salma Nazeer McDonald of Andover, Mass., and two grandchildren.

JOHN W. (BUZZ) KEMLER JR., 64, a salesman and customer service representative for Charles G. Stott & Co., dealers in office supplies and furniture, died of cancer March 2 at Prince George's Doctors' Hospital.

Mr. Kemler, of Bowie, was born in Washington and graduated from the old Western High School. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps in the Pacific. He joined the Stott company after the war and retired in 1986.

His marriage to the former Elisabet Rohrmoser ended in divorce.

Survivors include two sons, J. Michael and Clifford M. Kemler, both of Bowie; one sister, Myra Knott of Venice, Fla., and two half-sisters, Helen and Merlin Kreisher, both of Washington.