W. Herbert Gill, 85, a retired official of the Washington Gas Light Company who was active in community organizations, died of cardiac arrest Thursday at his home in Washington.

Mr. Gill joined Washington Gas as a clerk in the business department in 1911. He later was promoted to commercial manager, then was assistant to the president for 10 years before retiring in 1960.

During World War II, he was active in war fund and Red Cross drives. He served as 1957 chairman of the metropolitan unit of the United Givers Fund drive.

He was the 1955 president of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association and a longtime delegate to the Federation of Citizens Associations of Washington.

Mr. Gill was chairman of the Jury Commission for the old United States Federal Court and vice chairman of the D.C. Board of Appeals and Review during the early 1960s.

He also headed the Washington office of the citizens' organization during the successful campaign to secure the right of D.C. residents to vote in presidential elections. The District cast its three electoral votes for the first time in the 1964 election.

Mr. Gill was a native of New Jersey and came to Washington in 1904. He was a member of St. Ann's Catholic Chruch in Washington.

He served with the Army in France during World War I, and was commander of American Legion Post No. 44. He was president of the D.C. Kiwanis Club in 1944.

Survivors include his wife, the former Dorothy H. Synder, and a daughter, Mary Jane, both of Washington, and a son, the Rev. John H., of Brooklyn N.Y.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the D.c. kiwanis Club.