Barbara Ferkiss, 55, an editor and writer who was active in religious organizations and had lived here since the early 1960s, died Dec. 4 at Suburban Hospital.

A spokesman for the Montgomery County medical examiner said Mrs. Ferkiss died after an accidental fall in her home the previous day.

Mrs. Ferkiss had been managing editor of Environment magazine, published by the Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, since 1978. She had worked for the foundation since 1974, having edited Sociology, Social Studies and The Journal of Environmental Education. She also wrote for other publications and was a member of the Scientists' Institute for Public Information and the Sierra Club.

She had been a member of the board of The People, an experimental worship community in Washington, in the late 1960s. She was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington.

Mrs. Ferkiss was a native of Oakland, Calif., and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. She was a past president of League of Women Voters in Berkeley and was on the Montana state board of the league before moving here.

Survivors include her husband, Dr. Victor Ferkiss, and two sons, Michael and Ethan, all of Chevy Chase; a daughter, Deborah, of Savannah, Ga., and a sister, Jeanne Losleben of Las Cruces, N.M.