Wendell S. Arbuckle, 76, a professor emeritus of dairy science at the University of Maryland and a world authority on ice cream, died March 22 at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale. He had a heart ailment.

Dr. Arbuckle was the author of a 474-page work titled "Ice Cream." Published in the mid-1960s, this highly technical yet readable treatise rapidly became the standard work on the subject. It traced the dessert's historical origins in ancient Rome and even its complex molecular structure.

Over the years, Dr. Arbuckle researched ice cream's ice crystals and air cells. But his work was not limited to the classroom or the laboratory. He was a man who enjoyed all aspects of his subject and he liked to churn up a batch.

He manufactured high-quality ice cream that was sold on the university campus. Along the way, he concocted such flavors as rhubarb, carrot, pink grapefruit, holly berry, creme de menthe, "cinnamon zigzag," bubble gum and cantaloupe. A corn-flavored delicacy had scant success in Maryland, but it did gain some favor in South America.

Dr. Arbuckle's best-known flavor may have been sweet potato, which he developed in 1963 at the request of the Maryland Sweet Potato Growers Association. The final mixture included one part sweetened sweet potato pulp to four parts ice cream base with a dash of lemon juice added just before freezing. This was served at the Maryland pavilion at the New York World's Fair.

If sweet potato ice cream was a modest high, an attempt to make and market grass ice cream definitely was a low. It was based on dehydrated grass. Not the kind that is so highly prized by people who like to smoke it, but the ordinary kind that is the precursor of hay.

Dr. Arbuckle explained to a Washington Post reporter in 1976 that it was rich in vitamins. Unfortunately, the finished product tasted very much like grass -- or perhaps hay. The man who invented it called it "the most unjustifiable" of all his efforts.

After retiring from the university in 1972, the professor operated Arbuckle Inc., an ice cream consulting firm he founded in College Park. He was consulted by companies in more than a score of nations and he traveled throughout Europe and Japan.

And through it all, Dr. Arbuckle ate ice cream. He told a Post reporter that he sometimes ate it at breakfast as a cold-cereal topping or as a tasty filling for pancakes. He also revealed that his favorite flavor was "plain vanilla."

Dr. Arbuckle, who had homes in College Park and Scientists Cliffs, Md., was a native of Indiana, were he grew up on a farm. His mother made ice cream with a hand-cranked freezer.

After graduating from Purdue University, he went to Columbia, Mo., where he owned an ice cream store and pursued his education, receiving a master's degree and a doctorate in dairy science at the University of Missouri. (His doctoral dissertation was on ice cream.)

Dr. Arbuckle began his teaching career about 1941. He served on the faculties at Missouri, Texas A&M University and North Carolina State University before moving here and joining the University of Maryland faculty about 1949.

He was a member of University Methodist Church in College Park.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of College Park and Scientists Cliffs; one son, J. Gordon, of Washington; one daughter, Wendy Wood of Laurel; one sister, Ruth Dinius of Neenah, Wis., and three grandchildren.

DR. ROBERT PHILLIPS LUDLUM,

78, a retired president of Anne Arundel Community College, died of pneumonia March 23 at Anne Arundel General Hospital. He lived in Arnold, Md.

Dr. Ludlum was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated from Cornell University, where he also received a master's degree and a doctorate in American history. He moved to the Washington area during World War II and worked for the old Office of War Information. He later worked for the American Association of University Professors.

He was vice president of Antioch College in Ohio during the late 1940s. From 1949 to 1965, he was president of Blackburn College in Illinois. He was a dean at Adelphi University in New York for three years before moving back to this area in 1968 and becoming president of Anne Arundel Community College. He retired in 1976.

Dr. Ludlum was president of the Twin Harbors Community Association in Arnold. He was a member of the Annapolis Rotary Club and the Woods Hole Presbyterian Church in Severna Park.

He was the author of two textbooks, "This Is America's Story," published in 1952, and "American Government," published in 1965.

His first wife, Ruth S. Ludlum, died in 1975. Survivors include his wife, Joyce I. Ludlum of Arnold; two daughters by his first marriage, Susan Ludlum King of Syracuse, N.Y., and Margaret D. Ludlum of Seattle, and three grandchildren.

ROBERT L. LEACH,

48, president of Hotel Investors Inc. of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust, died of cancer March 23 at his home in Washington.

Mr. Leach was born in Davenport, Iowa. He graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he was captain of the football and rugby teams, and later received a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University. He also served in the Air Force Reserve.

Before moving to Washington and joining Hotel Investors Inc. in 1978, Mr. Leach was a vice president of Citibank in New York City and an executive vice president of Ramada Inns.

His marriage to the former Deborah Wells ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children, Robert L. and Leslie Wells Leach, both of Washington; his parents, James A. and Lois Hill Leach, of Davenport, and one brother, Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa), of Washington and Davenport.

ROBERT HUNTER MONTGOMERY,

24, a staff assistant with the Free Enterprise Foundation since 1986, died March 14 at his mother's home in Fair Lawn, N.J. A spokesman for the medical examiner in Bergen County, N.J., said the determination of the cause of death was pending the outcome of toxicological tests.

Mr. Montgomery, of Washington, was born in Hackensack, N.J. He graduated from Bergen Community College and attended the University of Maryland.

He moved to the Washington area in 1984 and worked on the staff of the House Committee on Agriculture before joining the Free Enterprise Foundation.

Survivors include his mother, Camille Montgomery, and two sisters, Diana and Roxanne Montgomery, all of Fair Lawn.

OLIVE MAE BOND MILLER,

87, a Marine Corps veteran of World War I who later operated a dressmaking shop in Washington for 30 years, died March 23 at the Brooke Grove Nursing Home in Olney after a stroke.

Mrs. Miller was born in Washington and graduated from the old Business High School. She opened her dress shop, Madame Olivia's, in 1934 and retired in 1964.

She was a former department commander of the D.C. chapter of the Veterans of World War I. She was a member of the American Legion and its auxiliary, the Women Marines Association, as well as the Marine Corps League, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Ladies Auxiliary of the United Transportation Union.

Her marriage to John M. Bishop ended in divorce.

Her second husband, James P. Miller, died in 1952. A son by her first marriage, Forrest L. Bishop, died in 1984. Survivors include one daughter by her first marriage, Marion L. Polli of Derwood, Md.; two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

GRACE G. GILE,

92, a former secretary at the American Association of Retired Persons and the Veterans Administration, died of cardiac arrest March 21 at George Washington University Hospital.

Miss Gile was born in Wright County, Iowa. She was a schoolteacher in Montana before moving to Washington in the early 1940s. She was secretary to the director of chaplain services at the VA from 1942 to 1964 and secretary to the director of education for the Council of Churches of Greater Washington from 1965 to 1968. From 1968 to 1984, she was a secretary at AARP.

Survivors include one sister, Ann Giles of Washington.