Joan Ascher Cardon, 76, a former psychiatric nurse and Peace Corps official who was active in volunteer groups in Montgomery County, died of breast cancer Aug. 29 at her home in Wheaton.

Mrs. Cardon came to the Washington area in 1953 and spent the next year as assistant nursing director at the Chestnut Lodge psychiatric hospital in Rockville. In 1962 and 1963, she was an assessor of candidates with the Peace Corps.

Her volunteer activities had included 15 year as chairman of the Wheaton Library Advisory Committee.

She also had served on the board of the Montgomery County Mental Health Association and placement counselor with the Montgomery County Volunteer Bureau. She had tutored with the Montgomery County Literacy Council.

Mrs. Cardon, who was born in New York, graduated from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital nursing school in New York in 1946. She also was a graduate of Columbia University Teachers College, where she also received a master's degree in psychiatric nursing.

Her hobbies included sailing and rock climbing. She was a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Seven Seas Cruising Association.

Survivors include her husband of 45 years, Dr. Philippe V. Cardon of Wheaton; a son, Charles P., of Calienne, Calif.; a daughter, Cynthia Cardon Hughes of Barrington, R.I.; a brother; and four grandchildren.