William E. Foley, 79, a retired director of the administrative office of U.S. Courts who also had held high Justice Department posts, died of a heart ailment Aug. 11 at Sibley Memorial Hospital. He lived in Chevy Chase.

He came to Washington and began his Justice Department career in 1940. He was chief of the internal security and foreign agents registration section from 1948 to 1954. He was deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division from 1958 until leaving Justice in 1964. While at the department, his other assignments had included sitting on the planning board of the National Security Council.

Dr. Foley joined the U.S. Courts in 1964, serving as deputy director of administrative office until becoming director in 1977. He retired in 1985.

He was a native of Danbury, Conn., and practiced law in Boston before moving here. He served on active duty in Europe with the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War II. He retired from the reserves as a captain in 1968. He was a graduate of Harvard University and its law school. He also received master's and doctoral degrees in political science from Harvard.

Dr. Foley was a member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Washington.

Survivors include his wife, the former Marguerite Pratt, of Chevy Chase; a daughter, Anne Foley of Charlottesville; six sons, the Rev. William Foley of Olney, Jonathan Foley of Baltimore, David Foley of Concord, N.H., Carl Procario-Foley of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Christopher and Richard Foley, both of Washington; and a grandchild.


Volunteer Activist

Dorothy Coates Beatty, 79, an area resident since 1947 who was active in volunteer work, died of cancer Aug. 9 at the Fernwood nursing home in Bethesda. She lived in Silver Spring.

She had been a docent with the Smithsonian Institution. For the last 10 years, she had been a volunteer in the Montgomery Public Library system. She had been working at the Kensington branch at the time of her death.

Mrs. Beatty was a native of Providence, R.I., and a 1931 graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts. She had taught at a Boston business school before moving here.

She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Silver Spring.

Her husband, John D. Beatty, whom she married in 1944, died in 1972. Her survivors include a brother, Albert Coates of Warwick, R.I.