Marie Shreve Ball, 88, who was active in church, gardening and historical groups in Arlington and elsewhere, died of cardiac arrest Wednesday at her home in Arlington.

Mrs. Ball was born in Washington and grew up in Burke. After graduating from Farmville (Va.) State Normal School, now Longwood College, she taught in a one-room school in Fairfax County. She later started a Sunday school class that was a forerunner of the Idylwood Presbyterian Church near Oakton.

A member of Mount Olivet United Methodist Church for almost 70 years, Mrs. Ball served it as a Sundy school teacher, missionary chairman, youth chairman and in other capacities.

She was fond of dogwoods and helped have the dogwood named the Virginia state flower and the cardinal designated as the state bird. She contributed to the dogwood collection in the National Arboretum in Washington. She herself had a noted garden at her home, Glebe House. She was a founder of the Neighborhood Garden Club of Arlington and was a judge at numerous flower shows in the Eastern United States.

Mrs. Ball also was a member of the Methodist Historical Society and was a founder of the Arlington Historical Society. She was a member of the Society for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, the Virginia Historical Society and the National Trust for Historical Preservation. In addition, she was a member of Preisdent John F. Kennedy's National Commission on Conservation and Natural Resources and of the Arlington Historical Commission.

Her other affiliations included membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Colonial Dames.

Her husband, former State Sen. Frank L. Ball, died in 1966.

Mrs. Ball's survivors include a son, Frank L. Jr., of Arlington; three daughters, Virginia Graves of Virginia Beach, and Elizabeth Wiltshire and Barbara Savage, both of Vienna; a sister, Edna S. Holland, of Silver Spring; seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.