Leone Barber Buchholz, 87, a former member and chairman of the Arlington County Board who was active in many civic groups, died Monday at her home in Arlington. She had a heart ailment.

Mrs. Buchholz was elected to the board in 1952 and remained on it until 1960. She was chairman of the body in 1954.

Among the projects she backed during her two terms of service were the establishment of the George Mason Training Center for the mentally handicapped, a juvenile detention center for Northern Virginia, and several community libraries.

Mrs. Buchholz helped found George Mason University as one of the original members of its control board. She also was a member of the committe that organized the Community Center in Rosslyn.

In addition, Mrs. Buchholz was a charter member of the Arlington chapter of the Salvation Army and a charter member of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Heart Association. She served as president of the chapter in 1968 and for many years engaged in fund-raising activities in its behalf. She received the Heart Fund Leadership Appreciation Award from the Virginia state chapter of the Heart Association.

Born in Milledgeville, Ga., Mrs. Buchholz was christened Frances Leone Barber. For the rest of her life, she was known as Leone. She graduated from the Georgia State College for Women and moved to the Washington area in the 1920s.

For several years, she taught in the Prince George's County school system. From 1931 until 1943, when she moved from Hyattsville to Arlington, she was an assistant principal in the system.

Mrs. Buchholz was a former president of the Georgia State Society and helped organize the Georgia float for the annual Cherry Blossom Festivals in Washington.

In recognition of these activities, then-Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia proclaimed Oct. 3, 1971, as Leone B. Buchholz Day. He also made her an honorary aide on his staff.

Mrs. Buchholz was a member of the Westminister Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. She also was a charter member and former president of the Aurora Hills Women's Club and a past president of the Organized Women Voters of Arlington.

Her husband, Frederick Buchholz, whom she married in 1941, died in 1950. She leaves no immediate survivors.

Friends suggest that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Heart Association, or to a charity of one's choice.