Helen Arnold Dodd, 86, a lifelong area resident who was active in the Methodist Church, died Wednesday at Montgomery General Hospital after a heart attack.

Mrs. Dodd was born in Washington. She worked for Jelleff's women's clothing stores in Washington before her marriage in 1914 to Samuel M. Dodd Jr. Mr. Dodd, a former Chief budget examiner for the Bureau of the Budget, now the Office of Management and Budget, died in 1971.

Mrs. Dodd lived in Northern Virginia before moving to the Asbury Methodist Village retirement complex in Gaithersburg in 1972.

She was active in Clarendon United Methodist Church in Arlington, Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean, and most recently, Grace United Methodst Church in Gaithersburg.

She also was active in the Asbury Village choir and garden club and enjoyed oil and watercolor painting.

Survivors include a daughter, Virginia Good of Crofton; a son, Paul M., of McLean; three sisters, Elsie Payne and Louisa Cooksey, both of McLean, and Agnes Swartz of Alexandria; two brothers, Edmund Arnold of Florida, and Gilbert Arnold of Virginia, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Herman M. Wilson Health Center in Gaithersburg.