Dawn M. Smith, who retired from the Agriculture Department as a program manager in 1993 after a 15-year career with the federal government, died Jan. 13 at her home in Fairfax County. She was 77.

The cause was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, said her sister Janet McFarland.

Dawn Marie Smith was born in Kunkletown, Pa., and served in the Women’s Army Corps from 1954 to 1957. She retired from the Army Reserve as a sergeant first class in 1994.

Ms. Smith received an associate’s degree in commercial science in 1960 from Benjamin Franklin University, which became part of George Washington University, and a bachelor of arts degree from National Louis University in Chicago in 1988.

She did accounting work for companies in the Falls Church area before beginning her federal career. Ms. Smith also played the French horn in several orchestras in Northern Virginia.

Survivors include two sisters and a brother.

— Emily Langer