Ella Miller Quirk, 88, a longtime resident of the Washington area who once had been active in the American Red Cross, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday at the home in Alexandria of a daughter, Betty Clarke, whom she had been visiting for a month.

A former Washington resident, Mrs. Quirk had divided her time in recent years between her summer home, "Rosecroft," in Saint Marys City, Md., and her home at Hillsboro Beach, Fla.

Mrs. Quirk was born in Erie, Pa., and attended Villa Marie Academy there. She came here after her marriage 65 years ago to George M. Quirk, former vice president of the Hecht Co. department stores. He died in 1976.

During World War I and for a number of years after that, she was a member of the Red Cross motor corps here. She also was one of the original members of the Political Study Club.

In addition to Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. Quirk's survivors include two other daughters, Anna Marie Tydings of Gaithersburg, and Eleanor Abbey of Alexandria; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the preservation of St. Ignatius Catholic Church, St. Ignatius, Md. 20684.