Marie A. Robbins, 72, a former employe of the old War Department who was active through the Disabled American Veterans on behalf of veterans benefits, died at Fairfax Hospital Sunday following surgery for a circulatory disorder.

Mrs. Robbins, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., moved to Washington in the early 1930s and went to work for the War Department, now the Department of the Army. In the late 1930s, she returned to St. Louis but continued to work for the War Department.

Following her marriage to Stanley Coleman Robbins, who became a retired chief warrant officer in the Air Force and later worked for the Corps of Engineers, she lived at military installations in Louisiana and Illinois. In 1963, the couple settled in the Washington area. Mr. Robbins died in 1967 and about 1971, Mrs. Robbins returned to St. Louis, where she was a secretary for a group of psychiatrists.

Two years later, she moved to Pikesville, Md., to live with a sister. In recent years, she had divided her time between Pikesville and the home of a son in Newington, Va.

Mrs. Robbins was active through the DAV on behalf of the pension rights of retired military persons and their families. She also was a member of the American Association of Retired Persons.

Her first marriage, to Joseph McDermott, ended in divorce.

Survivors include one son by her first marriage, Joseph J. Robbins, who was adopted by Stanley Robbins, of St. Louis; one son by her second marriage, Stanley M. Robbins, of Newington; her sister, Delia Stephenson, of Pikesville, and four granddaughters.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Baltimore, Md.