CINCINNATI (AP) _ Earl T. Wagner, a former congressman who practiced law until he recently became ill, died of cancer at a Cincinnati hospital. He was 81.

Wagner, who died Tuesday, served in the House in 1949-51, as a Democrat representing the 2nd District. He was a member of the Cincinnati Board of Education in 1944-48.

He was a 1930 graduate of the Salmon P. Chase School of Law in nearby northern Kentucky.

He served as district counsel to the Homeowners Loan Corp. during the Depression, was special counsel to the Ohio attorney general in 1937-38 and was city solicitor in the Cincinnati suburbs of Sharonville and Addyston during the 1930s.

Survivors include his wife, Stella DiVirgilio Wagner; a son, Earl W. Wagner, of Raleigh, N.C.; three daughters, Jean Wagner Nippert, Carol Huml and Catherine Grosse, both of Cincinnati, 10 grandchildren and six great- grandchildren. A burial Mass was scheduled for Friday.