William C. Geer, 63, executive director of the Council for Exceptional Children since 1961, died of cardiac arrest June 22 at Doctors Hospital in Washington.

The council works for greater educational opportunities for handicapped and gifted children.

In April, Mr. Geer received the council's J.E. Wallin Award in recognition of his "outstanding career of service of exceptional children."

He was a native of Birmingham, Ala., and a graduate of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind. He earned a master's degree at Indiana State University.

During the early 1950s, Mr. Geer was an instructor at George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., and served as supervisor of special education for that city.

In 1956, he went to Atlanta and held several administrative posts with the Southern Regional Education Board, where he helped supervise training programs in special education, nursing, and school psychology.

Mr. Geer was associated with the advisory bodies of the Easter Seal Society, the American Foundation for the Blind and the Tennessee Society for Crippled Children. He also had served as president of the Center for Educational Associations.

Survivors include his wife, Lois, and a son, Samuel, of the home in Reston; a daughter, Ellen Pettit of Oakton, Va., and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Foundation for Exceptional Children in Reston. CAPTION: Picture, WILLIAM C. GEER