Vanner Timothy Larson, 72, a retired National Security Council aide, died Thursday after a heart attack in La Crosse, Wis., while on a trip. He lived in Silver Spring.

Mr. Larson retired from the Council, where he did personnel work, in 1971. He had been with the Council since the late 1940s.

Born in Monson, Maine, he was a graduate of Farmington Normal School in Maine. He taught school in Everett, Mass. and later was a teacher at Gilman Boys School in Baltimore. While there, he attended Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Larson came to Washington in about 1932 and worked at the Library of Congress while attending George Washington University, where he received a bachelor's degree and then a master's degree and then a master's degree in history.

He taught at the Lanson School in Bethesda until the outbreak od World War II, when he was commissioned in the Navy. He served during the war with Navy intelligence in the Washington area and then saw two years of duty in Japan. He left the Navy with the rank of captain.

Mr. Larson was a founding member of the Paint Branch Unitarian Church in Adelphi.

He is survived by his wife, Elisabeth Alexander Larson, of the home; a daughter, Lisa Palchich, of Kalamazoo, Mich.; two sons, Timothy Vanner Larson of Seattle, and Philip Alexander Larson, of Baltimore; a brother, John Emil Larson, of North Palm Beach, Fla.; a sister, Blanche Stanton, of Newport, R.I., and two grandchildren.