William F. Sigmund, 72, a retired advertising and public relations executive who was active in volunteer and professional organizations, died Nov. 7 at Georgetown University Hospital after a stroke. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Sigmund retired as managing partner of Henry J. Kaufman and Associates, a Washington advertising and public relations concern, in 1979. Since that time he had maintained an office at Kaufman and Associates as an independent advertising consultant.

He had joined the firm in 1932. Over the years he served as an account executive, creative and merchandising director, and senior vice president, before becoming managing director.

Mr. Sigmund was the winner of a 1936 national copy writing award. He was president of the Advertising Club of Metropolitan Washington from 1949 to 1951, recipient of its "advertising man of the year" for 1964.

He was president of the District of Columbia division of the American Cancer Society from 1977 to 1979, and was a 1979 recipient of its St. George Medal.

He was a member of the Washington Hebrew Congregation and past president of its Brotherhood. He was a member of the Woodmont Country Club and the National Press Club.

Mr. Sigmund was a native of Washington and graduate of the old Central High School. He worked for the advertising department of The Washington Post, and as an advertising official for several area stores before joining Kaufman and Associates.

His marriage to the former Marjory Louise Hertzberg ended in divorce. His second wife, Jane S. Sigmund, died in 1981.

Survivors include two children by his first marriage, Donald W. of Bethesda, and Elinor S. Blackstone of Rockville, and five grandchildren.