Reba Barrett Smith, 97, long active in civic and philanthropic affairs, died Thursday at the home of a son, Douglas R., in Warrenton, where she had lived for the last six years.

She had spent most of her life in the Barrett family home on Duke Street in Alexandria.

At the turn of the century, Mrs. Smith as a bride went to northwest Canada when her husband, W. Rathbone Smith, became chief engineer in the building of a railroad.

There she lived in tents and log cabins in the wilderness with her small chidlren. The adventures were many including the discovery of an unmapped 90-mile-long lake now know as Reba Lake.

The family returned to Alexandria in the early 1920s. Mr. Smith, a civil engineer, died in 1946.

In 1924, Mrs. Smith became executive director of the National Florence Crittenton Home in Washington and was an honorary director at the time of here death. The Reba Barrett Circle of the home was named for her.

She was a founding member of the Garden Club of Alexandria and of the Kate Waller Barrett chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which she had served as regent.

She also was active in the National Society of Colonial Dames and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Mrs. Smith played a key hole in the work of the League of Women Voters in its early days. She was a member for many years of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria.

In addition to her son, she is survived by two other sons, Waller B., of Alexandria, and William H., of Rockville; a daughter, Elizabeth L. Charlesworth, of Brantford, Ontorio; a sister, Mrs: Charles H. Pozer, of Fairfax, 13 grandchildren suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to St. Paul's Episcopal.