The Jan. 22 obituary on J. Preston Swecker incorrectly omitted his wife, Frances C. Swecker, from the list of survivors. (Published 01/ 24/96)

Alice Stanley Acheson, a prominent Washington painter who was the widow of Dean Acheson, President Harry S. Truman's secretary of state, died Jan. 20 at her home. Mrs. Acheson, who had a heart ailment, was 100 years old and had lived in Washington since shortly after World War I.

Mrs. Acheson was the daughter and granddaughter of artists, and she exhibited her oils and watercolors at galleries and museums in Washington and elsewhere for decades. Subjects included Washington scenes, portraits and landscapes of foreign lands she and her husband had visited over the years.

Described as a woman of serene grace and elegance who performed the social duties expected of her with unruffled skill, she also was known as a serious painter well before her husband became secretary. She continued at her easel while he held office and "pretty much into her nineties," according to her son, David C. Acheson.

She was a "remarkable woman," said Lucius D. Battle, the former diplomat and educator who was special assistant to Dean Acheson when he was secretary of state.

Mrs. Acheson was "unassuming, gracious, charming and elegant," he said. "I thought she was a remarkable success as wife of the secretary of state."

In the words of a 1947 newspaper column, Mrs. Acheson also was, along with the wife of U.S. diplomat John Wiley, one of "Washington's two paintingest ladies."

A District resident since 1919, Mrs. Acheson lived from the 1920s to the 1980s in a house on P Street in Georgetown and kept a studio on an upper floor, where she spent mornings producing work that was shown at such galleries as New York's Wildenstein and Washington's Franz Bader and in such museums as the Corcoran and the Phillips Collection.

Alice Stanley Acheson, the future painter and intimate witness to some of the most momentous events of the century, was born Aug. 12, 1895, in Charlevoix, Mich. Her father, Louis Stanley, a railroad lawyer, was the son of John Mix Stanley, who was renowned for painting American Indian life in the Wild West.

Her mother, Jane C. Stanley, was a watercolorist who had great influence on the young Mrs. Acheson, who began painting as a small girl growing up in Detroit. "I tried to keep up with mother" -- about whom she later wrote a book -- she once explained. She majored in art at Wellesley College, where one of her classmates was Dean Acheson's sister.

The sister invited her home for a weekend. The Achesons were married in May 1917, the month of Mrs. Acheson's college graduation.

As a young lawyer, Dean Acheson came to Washington to clerk for a Supreme Court justice. The couple's first home was on Corcoran Street NW. In the early 1920s, long before Georgetown became fashionable, they moved there. Mrs. Acheson sold their house about 10 years ago.

A visitor to the house in the 1930s found pastels of the three Acheson children, done by Mrs. Acheson, adorning the walls. Later, Mrs. Acheson, who continued the formal study of art while in Washington, switched to oils. Over time, she also was active in watercolor and made what one observer described as a transition from representation toward abstraction.

By the late 1930s, she had been shown in several prominent galleries and museums and had been included in at least one major traveling exhibition.

During World War II, Mrs. Acheson abandoned painting for the duration, to head the agricultural section of the American Women's Voluntary Service group; one of its programs trained women to work on Maryland farms. Mrs. Acheson also taught drawing and painting to wounded soldiers at the Forest Glen annex of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Newspaper profiles after her husband became secretary of state described Mrs. Acheson as a woman of an elegance almost impossible to capture in words, as a designer of many of her own clothes and as someone who sometimes startled her friends by wearing the "dizziest {designer} creations."

Those came her way, it was reported, as the result of friendly election wagering that showed her staunch support of Democratic candidates.

As secretary of state from 1949 to 1953, Dean Acheson was credited with a major role in shaping the foreign policy followed by the United States then and for years thereafter. He also came in for vituperative partisan criticism.

Although Mrs. Acheson "never really took much of an interest in foreign affairs," she gave her husband firm backing against the criticism, David Acheson said. She was "very supportive" and even "very indignant" when Dean Acheson, who died in 1971, was under attack, her son said.

She was "absolutely devoted to him," Battle said. "She was quite a brick about the whole thing."

Although her son said Mrs. Acheson continued to paint during her husband's tenure as secretary, she did not, according to Battle, continue to exhibit.

"She thought it was trading on his fame" and gave it up for the duration, resuming afterward, he said. Years ago, David Acheson said, his mother indicated that she "wasn't all that interested" in being 100 years old and "shaved a year off her age." More recently, he said, as the milestone approached, she "became interested" and, about four years ago, resumed using her true age.

She was "really all charged up about being 100" and enjoyed the birthday party the family gave for her last summer, David Acheson said. She remained "communicative and mobile" until about Christmas, he said.

In addition to her son, survivors include a brother, George M. Stanley, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; two daughters, Jane A. Brown of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Mary A. Bundy of Princeton, N.J.; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. J. PRESTON SWECKER Patent Lawyer

J. Preston Swecker, 91, a retired patent lawyer and former cattle farmer who also was active in agriculture and church groups, died of pneumonia Jan. 18 at his home in Goodwin House West in Falls Church.

Mr. Swecker, who was born in West Virginia, settled in Arlington as a teenager. He graduated from Central High School in Washington, George Washington University and its law school. He also received a master's degree in patent law from GWU.

In the early 1930s, he helped found a Washington patent law firm. The firm later moved to Alexandria and is now the firm of Burns, Doane, Swecker & Mathis. Mr. Swecker retired from law in 1976.

In 1943, he purchased Rolling Hill farm in Hillsboro, where he raised Black Angus cattle. He also grew roses in Hillsboro and at his home in Washington. He was a past president of both the Virginia Angus Association and the Potomac Rose Society and had served as a director of the American Rose Society. He had served as a vestryman and treasurer of Epiphany Episcopal Church in Washington.

His wife of 54 years, Virginia Wilkins Swecker, died in 1985. Survivors include two sons, Robert and Edward Preston Swecker, both of Burke; two sisters, Gladys Wright of Harrisonburg, Va., and Hazel Axtel of Falls Church; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. DOROTHY ANN GOLDSMITH Teacher

Dorothy Ann Goldsmith, 87, a retired New York City schoolteacher who had lived in Bethesda since 1974, died Jan. 18 at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack.

Mrs. Goldsmith was born in New York and graduated from Hunter College.

She moved to the Washington area after the 1974 death of her husband, Jacob Goldsmith.

Survivors include a daughter, Susan Jane Goldsmith of Bethesda; and two grandchildren. CAPTION: ALICE STANLEY ACHESON