John Jarvis English, 63, president of Val-Pak of Virginia, a national cooperative direct-mail business, died of cardiac arrest Friday at Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. English was a third-generation Washingtonian and a 1936 graduate of St. Albans School for Boys here. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1940 and then served as a major in the Army Air Corps in Europe during World War II.

An insurance broker for about 20 years, he was associated with Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Philadelphia for several years before opening his direct mail business in 1973.

Mr. English lived in Bethesda. He was a member of the Chevy Chase Club and All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase.

His marriage to the late Beatrice Anne Talley ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, the former Mary Dora Sexton of Bethesda; a son, John Jarvis Jr., of Orange, Va.; two daughters, Martha E. Lawrence of Herndon, and Lynn E. Ainsworth of Afton, Va.; a stepson, O. Griffith Sexton of New York City; a brother, Merton Alden English of Chevy Chase; two sisters, Margaret E. Bickel of Rehoboth Beach, Del., and Mildred E. Elliott of Bronxville, N.Y., and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to a charity of one's choice.