Alice Hurst Garvey, 91, a Washington area resident since 1934 who had been active in professional and volunteer organizations died of cardiac arrest Monday at the Bethesda Retirement and Nursing Center, where she had lived for five years.

She was the widow of Martin Leo Garvey, a coal industry executive who died here in 1956.

Mrs. Garvey was born in Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah in 1912 and then taught there. She took graduate studies in speech and English at the University of Chicago and New York University. After her marriage in 1917, she lived in Charleston, W.Va., where she was active in civic affairs before moving to Washington.

Mrs. Garvey had served on the women's board of the Washington Heart Association for many years. She was a member of the League of Republican Women. She had been on the national board of the National League of American Pen Women and had been president of the Chevy Chase Branch of the League. She was honored by the Pan American Union for promotion of inter-American cultural affairs.

Survivors include two daughters, Margaret Garvey Crook of Baltimore and Mary Garvey Connolly of Washington; two brothers, Dr. Frank Hurst of Washington and Howard M. Hurst of Salt Lake City; two sisters, Martha Louise Hurst of Salt Lake City and Beatrice Hurst of Beaver, Utah, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A son, Martin L. Hurst jr., preceded her in death.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Nation's Capital Affiliate of the American Heart Association.