Anna C. Van Sickler, 74, who was instrumental in establishing the Heart Association of Northern Virginia and served as its executive director for 15 years, died of a cerebral hermorrhage Monday at Alexandria Hospital.
Mrs. Van Sickler, who was known as "Mrs. Heart" of Northern Virginia, was president of the Arlington Soroptomist Club when she succeeded in obtaining a charter for the Arlington-Fairfax Heart Association in 1950.
The organization became the Heart Association of Northern Virginia three years later and was expanded to include Alexandria, Falls Church and Prince William County, in addition to Arlington and Fairfax counties.
Before being named executive director in 1956, Mrs. Van Sickler served for six years as the association's volunteer secretary. When she retired in 1970, she received a Silver Distinguished Service Medallion and certificate from the association.
She was born in King George County, Va., and moved to Arlington in 1930. In recent years she lived in Falls Church.
She attended Strayer College and earned a bachelor's degree from Blackstone College in Virginia.
Mrs. Van Sickler previously had worked as a secretary and office manager and as an export consultant and representative for U.S. and foreign coal interests and ship owners here. Early in her career she worked as an elementary schoolteacher in Stafford, Va.
She was the widow of Carr T. Van Sickler, a local musician and orchestra leader, who died in 1964.
She was a member of Clarendon Presybyterian Church in Arlington.
Surivors include two sisters, Carrie C. Johnson of Montross, Va., and Azeele I. Caruthers of Colonial Beach, Va., and two brothers, Franklin C. Caruthers, of Colonial Beach, and Donald S. Caruthers Sr. of Arlington.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Association of Northern Virginia.