Mary Gormley Shea, 64 a longtime D.C. area resident who was active in hospital and school work, died of cancer Tuesday at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mrs. Shea was born in Evanston, Ill. Her family moved to Washington when she was a child. After graduating from Georgetown Visitation Convent, she attended Manhattanville College, then in New York City, and George Washington University.

She was a former southern regional vice president of the Georgetown Visitation Alumnae Associaton and helped found the Visitation Junior Assembly, a dancing class for children of alumnae.

She also was a former member of the women's boards of Georgetown University Hospital and Columbia Hospital for Women. She was a member of the parish of Annuniciation Church here.

She belonged to the Congressional Country Club and played golf there.

Mrs. Shea and her husband, John Egan Shea, moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in 1970 following his retirement from his Washington law practice. Mr. Shea died in January.

Survivors include six daughters, Mrs. James C. Gaffney, of Washington, Mrs. George Lindley, of Duncan, Okla., Mrs. Cyril Thiel, of Southfield, Mich., Mrs. Harry T. O'Hare III, of Belmont, Mass., Mrs. James Blaszak, of Annandale, and Mrs. Robert Scott, of San Antonio, Tex.; two sisters, Mrs. William J. Williams, of Vero Beach, Fla., and Mrs. Thomas F. Barrett Jr., of Bethesda, and 10 grandchildren.