Jane McAliste Theis, 63, a resident of the Washington area for more than 35 years who was active in volunteer work at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, died of cancer Sunday at Holy Cross Hospital.

Mrs. Theis was born in Harrisburg, Pa. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College, Holyoke, Mass., with a degree in chemistry. She moved to the Washington area in 1942 with her husband, J. William Theis, a wire service newsman who covered the U.S. Senate and who later became Washington bureau chef of the Hearst newspapers.

Mrs. Theis had been a member of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring since the early 1950's. She was active in its Key People Program, the purpose of which is to maintain liaison with the communities served by the church.

In addition to her husband, of the home in Silver Spring, Mrs. Theis is survived by three children, Suzanne T. Limric, of Leesburg, Va., John W. Jr., of Cincinnati, and Jane Isenstead, of Vienna, Va., and nine grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the St. Luke Lutheran Church Youth Program, Colesville Road and Highland Drive, Silver Spring.