Gracita Dagdag "Grace" Pedery, 59, a financial operations specialist for the Commerce Department from 1975 to 1983 and then for the Transportation Department's maritime services office until 1995, died of cardiac arrest Feb. 12 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She had kidney disease and diabetes.

Mrs. Pedery, a Fort Washington resident, was a native of Manila and a business administration graduate of the Philippine Women's University.

After a kidney transplant in 1984, she became increasingly involved in efforts to promote her heritage in the Washington area and encourage younger Filipinos to volunteer.

She and her husband helped start the Philippine Festival in Washington, an annual event of Filipino culture and the arts.

She was a former president of the Washington chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars ladies auxiliary, the Federal Asian Pacific American Council and the Combined International Philippine American Association.

She founded the Washington chapter of the Philippine Women's University alumni association.

She also worked to help bring Filipino American seniors to cultural programs and community events.

She was a volunteer with the Minority Organ Transplant and Tissue Education Program at Howard University.

She was a member of St. Columba Catholic Church in Oxon Hill.

Survivors include her husband of 34 years, Claudio B. Pedery Jr. of Fort Washington; a son, Fredrick G. Pedery of Fort Washington; her father and stepmother, Gaudencio U. Dagdag and Rafaela Dagdag, of Oxon Hill; five sisters, Gloria Macaraeg of the Philippines, Patria Feliciano of Suitland and Corazon Blancaflor, Perla Edora and Lenor Cruz, all of Fort Washington; and four brothers, Carlos Dagdag of Oxon Hill, Arthur Dagdag of Springfield and Gaudencio Dagdag Jr. and Manuel Dagdag, both of the Philippines.