Luther E. Lee, 85, a retired official at the old Naval Gun Factory and a longtime resident of Takoma Park, died May 20 at a hospital in Charles Town, W.Va. He had a heart ailment.

Mr. Lee was born in Florence, S.C., and moved to the Washington area in 1916. He attended Emerson Institute and Strayer Business College. An administrator and machinist, he worked for the Naval Gun Factory for 35 years before retiring in 1957.

During World War II, he directed work at the Gun Factory that was connected with the Manhattan District, the project that developed the atomic bomb.

For several years after his retirement from the government, Mr. Lee was a consultant with Melpar Associates and the Washington Technological Associates of Maryland. He retired a second time in the early 1960s.

In 1963, Mr. Lee built his own home in West Virginia. He had lived in Charles Town since March 1980. He was a Mason.

His wife of 57 years, the former Rosa Theresa Preston, died in 1979.

Survivors include a son, Jack F. Lee of Martinsburg, W.Va.; two dauthers, Josephine Lee Owen of New Carrollton and Rose Marie Martino of Leesburg; two brothers, DeLeon, of Florence, S.C., and Irban, of Lake City, S.C.; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.