Robert Parrish McQuail, 78, an Army colonel who retired in 1969 as deputy commander of the Military District of Washington, died of pneumonia June 10 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Col. McQuail, who lived in Falls Church, was born in Bluefield, W.Va. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1939 and joined the Army.

He was an intelligence officer in the Pacific during World War II. Postwar duty included command of an infantry regiment and study at the Command and General Staff School and the Army War College.

From 1958 to 1961, he was commander of the U.S. military liaison mission in Potsdam, East Germany, and in this capacity, he negotiated for the release of reconnaissance aircraft pilots who were shot down over East-bloc nations.

He settled in the Washington area in 1963. He was a business consultant after retiring from the Army.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Sims McQuail of Falls Church; five children, Robert P. McQuail Jr. of Vienna, Richard M. McQuail of Teaneck, N.J., Josephine A. McQuail of Cookeville, Tenn., Belle E. McQuail of Washington and Army Maj. William H. McQuail of Fort Knox, Ky.; and eight grandchildren. DAVID LEONARD NORWITZ Businessman

David Leonard Norwitz, 84, a retired president of the American Hygiene Co. of Baltimore, which manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical supplies and medications, died June 10 at Holy Cross Hospital after surgery for a gall bladder ailment. He lived in Silver Spring.

He was a past president of the travelers auxiliary of the DC-Baltimore Pharmaceutical Association.

Mr. Norwitz, who had lived in the Washington area since 1942, was born in Baltimore. He joined the family business, which became American Hygiene, as a young man and retired in 1981. In retirement, he attended Montgomery College and was a volunteer teacher with the Montgomery County literacy council.

A Mason for 50 years, he had belonged to the Samuel Gompers-Ben Franklin Lodge 50. He was a past president of the B'nai B'rith's Argo Alef Lodge in Silver Spring.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Sara, and a daughter, Mary Brenner, both of Silver Spring; a brother, Isadore, of Hollywood, Fla.; two sisters, Gertrude Elgin and Marion Iskow, both of Baltimore; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A son, Joel Issac Norwitz, died in 1948.