Edith Austin Dinwoodey, 85, who was active in church, civic and school affairs in Montgomery County, died of respiratory failure July 31 at Georgetown University Hospital. She had Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Dinwoodey, a resident of the Washington area for 60 years, was president of Montgomery County's League of Women Voters in 1943, and she was a member of the Charter Committee that effected the change in the county's form of government from a county commission to a council-manager system in the late 1940s. She was a member of the county's first Personnel Board from 1949 to 1956.

Mrs. Dinwoodey, a resident of Kensington, was a founding member of the Chevy Chase Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former president of the Chevy Chase Elementary School PTA where she organized the first elementary school library in the county in the early 1940s. She was a member of the advisory board of Montgomery College.

Mrs. Dinwoodey was born in Lehi, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah. She taught English at Weber College in Ogden, Utah, and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor in Idaho before moving to the Washington area.

She worked briefly as a researcher at the old Civil Service Commission and as a writer of English textbooks after moving to Washington.

Her husband of 58 years, Dean Dinwoodey, founder of the Bureau of National Affairs, died in 1983.

Survivors include two daughters, Jean D. Linehan of Chevy Chase and Judith D. Hines of Lovettsville, Va.; a son, David Taylor Dinwoodey of Wellesley, Mass.; two sisters, Myrtle Austin and Bessie Austin Merrill, both of Logan, Utah; seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.