John C. Hill, 73, a retired Justice Department lawyer who had served mainly with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, died Tuesday at Sibley Memorial Hospital after a stroke.

At his retirement in 1959, he was assistant commissioner of the Federal Prison Industries Division.

Born in Butller, Pa,. Mr. Hill came here in the 1920s and worked in the accounting office of the chief clerk's office at the Justice Department.

He graduated from George Washington University and received a law degree from National University.

Mr. Hill also was a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and worked with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

After his retirement from government service, he served for 10 years as parish administrator of Christ Episcopal Church in Georgetown, where he was a vestryman. He then worked for two years for the National Association for the Blind.

Mr. Hill was a member of the National Press Club and the City Tavern Club.

H e is survived by his wife, Mari, of the home in Washington, and a sister, Charlotte Keil, and a brother, A. R. Hill, of Butler.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to Christ Church.