Francis William Hill, 86, a Washington attorney and a former president of the D.C. Bar who was active in civic and patriotic organizations, died of cardiac arrest Jan. 17 at his home in Chevy Chase.

Mr. Hill, who was born in Upper Marlboro, graduated from St. John's College in Annapolis and earned his law degree at Georgetown University. He served in the Army during World War I.

He was an assistant in the D.C. corporations counsel's office from 1919 to 1923. He then established a private law practice in Washington and continued it until his death. He was a director of the Prudential Building and Loan Association and a director-emeritus of the Interstate Building and Loan Association.

In addition to serving as president of the D.C. Bar, which gave him a distinguished service certificate in 1974, Mr. Hill had been a governor of the American Bar Association. He also was a past president of the Barristers Club and the Lawyers Club and a director of the Legal Aid Bureau of D.C. He taught law at National University and the Washington College of Law.

He was a president of Suburban Hospital, a director of the D.C. Society for the Prevention of Blindness and a treasurer of the American Hearing Society. He was chairman of a Selective Service board in Montgomery County.

Mr. Hill was a president emeritus of the Society of the Cincinnatus of Maryland and a president of the Descendents of the Lords of the Maryland Manors and the Washington and Northern Virginia Company, Jamestowne Society.

He also was a past president of the Alumni Association of St. John's College. He was a member of the Chevy Chase Club and a former member of the Metropolitan Club.

His first wife, the former Daviette Corbell Ficklen, whom he married in 1923, died in 1979.

Survivors include his wife, the former Margaret Rippard Rafferty, of Chevy Chase; two daughters by his first marriage, Mrs. Philip R. Stansbury, of Washington, and Mrs. John M. Myers, of Upper Marlboro; a sister, Mrs. Louis C. Arthur, of Washington, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to a charity of one's choice.