Gladstone S. Lewis Jr., 57, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who later worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, died of cancer Dec. 16 at Georgetown University Hospital.

Col. Lewis, who lived in Silver Spring, was born in Baltimore and grew up in Washington. He graduated from McKinley Technical High School and the University of Maryland. He joined the Air Force in 1951.

Most of his Air Force career was spent in research and development. He received a master's degree in instrumentation engineering and a professional degree as an aeronautical engineer at the University of Michigan.

During the 1950s, Col. Lewis was project officer for the first air-to-air nuclear weapon test delivery in Nevada, and from 1960 to 1964 he was chief architect and engineer in spacecraft technology and advanced reentry for the Air Force space systems division in Los Angeles.

He retired from the Air Force in 1975 after having served in the Office of Scientific Research in Arlington.

Col. Lewis' assignments with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission included development of a brochure on the safe transportation of nuclear waste and service on the inspection team for the Seabrook Reactor.

He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, St. Mark's Catholic Church in College Park and the Hillandale Citizens Association.

Survivors include his wife, Bette L. Lewis, and one son, Clinton H. Lewis, both of Silver Spring; his father, Gladstone S. Lewis Sr. of Warsaw, Va., and one grandson.

ESTHER S. POATS,

68, a former columnist with two English-language newspapers in Tokyo who also was active in community organizations in Falls Church, died of cancer Dec. 18 at her home in Falls Church.

Mrs. Poats was born in Washington, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa and taught in the public schools of Iowa in the early 1940s.

She went to work for the American Red Cross in 1945 and served in the Philippines and in Japan as a recreation director. During the 1950s, she wrote a column for the Nippon Times and for the Asahi Evening News in Tokyo. She moved to the Washington area in 1957.

From 1982 to 1985, she lived in Paris, where her husband, Rutherford M. Poats, was chairman of the development assistance committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Mrs. Poats was a past vice president of the Lake Barcroft Women's Club and a member of the Barlama Community Association in Falls Church. She had been coordinator of transportation for the Annandale Christian Community Welfare Program.

She also had participated in community theatrical productions, including a one-woman show based on a series of her own skits.

In addition to her husband, of Falls Church, survivors include two sons, Grayson Poats of Alexandria and Rutherford S. Poats of Bethesda; two daughters, Penfield Thompson of Montgomery, Ala., and Huntley Poats of Arlington; two sisters, Eugenia Smith of Arlington and Una Cornick of Phoenix; one brother, Frederic Smith of Seattle, and four grandchildren.