Coit Hendley Jr., 64, associate editor of The Washington Times and a former reporter and editor at the old Washington Star, died May 16 at his home in Washington after an apparent heart attack.

Mr. Hendley, a native of Columbia, S.C., worked 25 years for the Star, beginning as a copyboy in 1940 after attending the University of South Carolina. At the Star, he covered the D.C. Board of Education. He was assistant city editor when he left the newspaper in 1965 to become executive editor of the Elizabeth (N.J.) Journal.

From Elizabeth, Mr. Hendley went to the Courier Post in Camden, N.J., and then to Passaic, where he became executive editor of the Herald-News. He was living in a cottage on the New Jersey seacoast compiling some personal reflections on journalism when The Washington Times invited him to become the newspaper's first managing editor in April 1982.

In accepting the offer, Mr. Hendley said he "was glad to get away from the sight of a blank page," and that he was glad to be returning to Washington, where he had many friends from his days at the Star. Last November, Mr. Hendley was named associate editor at the Times.

His first wife, Barbara Davidson Hendley, died in 1972. His second marriage, to Janet Stover Hendley, ended in divorce.

Mr. Hendley is survived by four children of his first marriage, Coit Hendley III of Pasadena, Md., Peter Hendley of Hyattsville, Dale Hendley of Waldorf, and Patricia Hendley of Washington; a brother, John Hendley of Columbia, S.C.; a sister, Betty Fairey of Latta, S.C., and one grandchild.