Lee D. Butler, 84, a retired Washington automobile dealer who bred prize-winning cattle at Kinloch Farm, his home in Essex County, Va., died Thursday at his apartment in Washington of a heart ailment.

Mr. Butler, who was born in Dunmore, Pa., served in the Army in France during World War I. He stayed in Europe after the war to work with the Red Cross and the relief commission headed by Herbert Hoover. When he returned to this country in 1920, he went back to Princeton University, where he had been a student when he went into the Army.

Shortly after his graduation, he established a motorcycle and bicycle shop that eventually he changed into a Pierce Arrow and Studebaker dealership. In 1930, he moved to Washington and established Lee D. Butler Inc., a Studebaker dealership. In 1956, he switched to Ford Motor Co. products. He continued to operate his company until 1979, when it was liquidated.

In the early 1940s, Mr. Butler purchased Kinloch Farm in Supply, Va. His Black Angus cattle won numerous prizes at fairs and agricultural shows.

Mr. Butler was a director of the Blood Center of the D.C. Chapter of the Red Cross, a founding member and director of the National Symphony Orchestra, a director of the Atlantic Rural Exposition, which sponsors the Virginia State Fairs; a director of the Princeton University Alumni Association, and a member of the Vauters Church in Loretto, Va., and the Chevy Chase and Metropolitan clubs.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Fine Bulter of Supply; a son, David, also of Supply; two daughters, Margo Lorig of Eagle, Colo., and Adele McLennan of Westchester, Pa.; a sister, Dorothy Ward, and two brothers, Carl and William, and 10 grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Vauters Church, Loretto, Va., or to the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C.