Betty Gaskill Shinn, 64, a former magazine writer who worked in Europe during World War II and a retired information officer with the U.S. Information Agency, died Sunday at her home in Washington. She had a liver ailment.

Mrs. Shinn was born in Knoxville, Tenn. She attended the University of Tennessee and then worked for the Knoxville Journal and the Chattanooga News. During World War II she was sent to London by Liberty Magazine. nShe later wrote from Paris and Berlin.

After the war Mrs. Shinn contributed articles on international affairs to the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's and other magazines.

In 1948, she became an information officer for the United Nations in Geneva. She later was stationed in Germany and in 1951 joined the staff of the U.S. high commissioner in Germany.

Mrs. Shinn joined the USIA in Washington in 1953. For the next 10 years, she divided her time between assignments in Washington and West Germany.

In 1960 she married Robert Shinn, then a colonel and an information officer in the Army. The couple served together in Germany and then returned to Washington in 1972 following retirement. During her last years in Germany, Mrs. Shinn was active in organizing German-American friendship and exchange programs.

An earlier marriage to Gordon Gaskill ended in divorce. Col. Shinn died in 1973.

Mrs. Shinn's survivors include a daugher, Mary Stuart Hauptman, of Washington, and three grandchildren.