Ralph Bertram Tignor, 66, a retired teacher and administrator in the D.C. public school system, died of cancer Dec. 1 at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Tignor was a native and lifelong resident of Washington. He was a graduate of Dunbar High School and of the old Miner Teachers College, where he quarterbacked the 1934 varsity football team. He earned a master's degree in education at Columbia University.

He taught science for several years at Francis Junior High School, then served on the staff of Phelps Vocational High School from 1948 until the early 1960s. He was assistant director of science teaching in all D.C. public schools for a short time and became the school system's civil defense director 1963. He retired from the post in 1972.

In 1973, Mr. Tignor joined the adult education department at the old D.C. Teachers College, now part of the University of the District of Columbia, serving as assistant to the dean of evening activities. He retired a second time about 1978.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Helen, of Washington; a daughter, Sandra Tignor of Los Angeles; a sister, Cornelia T. Herbert of Washington, and a brother, Maurice, of Lanham.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the George Washington University Home Care Program, or to the building fund at Sargent Memorial United Presbyterian Church in Washington.