Lucile Finsterwald Ezekiel, 78, who lived in one of Montgomery County's most historic houses and who was active in civic work, died of a heart ailment Nov. 8 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. In 1932, when they moved to this area, Mrs. Ezekiel and her late husband, Mordecai J. B. Ezekiel, bought "Milton," a sprawling farmhouse off River Road in Bethesda that for more than a century was the home of Nathan Loughborough and his descendents. The oldest part of the house is said to have been built in 1706, making it one of the oldest houses in Montgomery County.

From 1951 to 1963, the Ezekiels lived in Rome, where Mr. Ezekiel, who had been an adviser to President Roosevelt during the New Deal, was an official of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. He died in 1974.

During World War II, Mrs. Ezekiel was executive secretary of Russian War Relief, an American-Soviet aid organization. After the war, she conducted a survey of the then-segregated Montgomery County school system. This concluded that schools for white children received more money than those for black children.

Mrs. Ezekiel was born in Marion, Wis., and grew up in Detroit. She graduated from Simmons College in Boston.

Survivors include three children, David, of Clarksville, Tenn., Jonathan, of Seattle, and Margot, of Bethesda; four sisters, Rae Steele of Los Angeles, Maxine Wood of New York, Miriam Moyer of Washington, and Ruth Kratze of Tampa, Fla.; three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.