Gail Skinrood, 64, a real estate salesperson in Northern Virginia since 1956 who was active in professional organizations, died of cancer Friday at her home in Herndon.

She had been president of Skinrood Real Estate in Falls Church for the last 17 years. Before that she had been on the sales staff of Routh Robbins in Northern Virginia and was its leading sales person in 1959.

Mrs. Skinrood was a past secretary of the Northern Virginia Board of Realtors and had served on its ethics and grievance committees. She received an award as the most ethical realtor in Northern Virginia from the board in 1976.

She also had taught adult courses in real estate as part of the distributive education program in Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax for about five years.

Mrs. Skinrood was born in Missouri and reared in the San Francisco area.

In 1936, she married Norman A. Skinrood, now a retired Army colonel, and accompanied him to posts in the Philippines, Japan, and Europe.

She had made her home in Northern Virginia since the mid-1950s, and was a resident of Arlington before moving to Herndon about a year ago.

Besides her husband, of Herndon, Mrs. Skinrood's survivors include two sons, Norman A. Jr., of Hartford, Conn., and David S., of Bakersfield, Calif.; three daughters, Linda Proctor of Puyallup, Wash., Lisa Root of Tualatin, Ore., and Stephanie Prichard of Indianapolis.