Elliott Ladd Thurston Jr., 66, a Washington attorney since 1949 who specialized in corporate, insurance and securities law and who was active in professional and civic groups, died of cancer Oct. 23 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Washington.

He began his legal career with the Washington office of the Chicago law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. In 1951, he joined the Washington law firm of Purcell & Nelson and became a partner in the mid-1950s. He stayed in those offices, which eventually became the Washington firm of Jones & Blouch, until retiring in July 1986. He had been of counsel to the firm since that time.

Mr. Thurston had served as vice chairman of the securities committee of the administrative law section of the American Bar Association and had been a member of the ethics committee of the D.C. Bar Association. He was a member of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and of the American Society of International Law.

In the 1960s, he was welfare committee chairman of the D.C. Health and Welfare Council. He also had served as a director of the D.C. chapter of the American Red Cross. He was a member of St. Alban's Episcopal parish. He was a member of the Metropolitan Club and the St. Alban's Tennis Club.

Mr. Thurston was born in New York City and moved here when he was a year old. He was a graduate of Western High School, Harvard University and its law school. He was a Navy officer aboard destroyers in the Pacific during World War II. From 1946 to 1949, he was an editorial assistant with the Bureau of National Affairs' Labor Relations Reporter publication.

Survivors include his wife, Laura B., of Washington; three sons, Elliott S., of Oakland, Calif., David L., of Hartford, Conn., and Zachary J., of Washington; a stepson, Charles B. Hulley of New York City; his mother, Margaret T. Thurston of Peace Dale, R.I.; a brother, Thatcher T., of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.; a sister, Virginia T. Coope of North Stonington, Conn., and a grandchild.

RUTH RABE SHANK,

74, an area resident since 1986 who also had lived here from the mid-1930s to mid-1940s, died of cardiac arrest Oct. 23 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. She lived in Bethesda.

Mrs. Shank was a native of Akron, Ohio. She had lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., from 1949 to 1965, then resided in Centreville, Md., until returning here. She was a graduate of the University of Akron and had taught in the Akron public schools in the early 1930s.

Her husband, Donald Jay Shank, died in 1967. Her survivors include a son, Dr. Peter Shank of Rumford, R.I.; a daughter, Susan E. Shank of Washington; two brothers, Ralph Rabe of Miami, and Herman Rabe of Medina, Ohio, and four grandchildren.