Byron Harold Monish, 72, a retired mechanical designer and specialist in pharology, the art or science of lighthouses and signal lights, died Sunday at the Bel Pre Health Care Center in Silver Spring after a stroke.

In 1927, Mr. Monish came to this area to work for the National Bureau of Standards as a mechanical designer. He then joined the Department of the Navy before transferring to the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 1960s. He retired in 1965.

Mr. Monish designed lighthouse lenses for the Coast Guard. While with the Navy Department, he designed the ballistics range at the old Naval Ordnance facility, now the Naval Surface Weapons Center, at the White Oak Laboratory in Silver Spring.

He also did the camera instrumentation design for the Aerobee rocket, which took early pictures of the curvature of the earth, and designs for other atmospheric research. One of his designs was a bucket for catching meteorites entering the earth's atmosphere.

A native of Saint Helens, Ore., Mr. Monish earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State Agricultural College, now Oregon State University, in 1927.

Mr. Monish was a retired Navy commander and worked on special devices projects in the Naval Reserve.

He was a longtime Arlington resident before making his home with his daughter, Carol M. Fox, in West Friendship, Md. His wife, of 37 years Marion Edna Coggswell Monish, died in 1969.

Besides his daughters, survivors include two grandchildren.