James A. Councilor Jr., 66, a retired partner in a Washington accounting firm who was active in civic and Masonic organizations, died of cancer Monday at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Councilor, a certified public accountant, Buchanan and Mitchell from 1935 until retiring two years ago.

He was comptroller for six consecutive presidential inaugural committees between 1953 and 1973. He also was a past president and chairman of the President's Cup Regatta.

He was a director and past president of the Metropolitan Police Boys Club, had served on the executive board of the D.C. Red Cross, and on the board of the Washington Hospital Center.

Mr. Councilor was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and past master of the Temple-Noyes Cathedral Lodge. He also was a member of Almas Temple and the Royal Order of Jesters.

He was a member of Columbia Country Club and the Corinthian Yacht Club.

Mr. Councilor was a native of Washington and a resident of Bethesda. He was a graduate of Central High School and Cornell University.

Survivors include his wife, the former Jane Bronk of Bethesda; a son, James A. III, of Annandale; two daughters, Pamela Chandler of Brookville, Fla., and Suzanne Peterson of Bethesda, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society or the Washington Cathedral.