John W. Pickett, 59, a Northern Virginia architect who designed schools, churches and office buildings, died Oct. 12 at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va., after a heart attack. He was visiting a sister when stricken.

Mr. Pickett had been a partner in the Vienna-based architectural firm of Pickett, Siess & Hook until 1984 when he moved to Naples, Fla., and went into semiretirement after an earlier heart attack.

He was born in New Brighton, Pa., served as an engineer in the merchant marine during World War II and studied architecture at the University of Illinois.

Mr. Pickett moved to Northern Virginia in 1950 and he established his own architectural firm in 1954. He designed schools in Page, Pittsylvania and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, including Lake Braddock High School, and in Jefferson County, W.Va. He also designed the Warrenton United Methodist Church and the Northern Virginia Builders Association building at Tysons Corner.

He was a former past vice president of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce, a vestryman at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in McLean and a member of the Orchid and Gladiola Society of Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Jennifer, of Naples; three daughters, Laura Moskowitz of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Diane Pickett-Clark of Fairfax and Carol Belding of Columbia, S.C.; two sons, Mark, of Reston and William, of Richmond; his mother, Florence Pickett of Fredericksburg, Va.; a sister, Jesse Pickett Casey of Berryville, Va., and six grandchildren.