Jean MacArthur, 101, the widow of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur who had accompanied her husband in tempestuous times of war and peace, died Jan. 22 at a hospital here. The cause of death was not reported.

She accompanied him aboard a PT boat when he was ordered out of the Philippines to escape a Japanese siege at the outset of World War II. She represented him at official and social functions and mingled with throngs of Japanese on her trips around Japan during the postwar occupation he oversaw. She shared his historic homecoming when he was relieved of command during the Korean War.

"Jean MacArthur has witnessed the great cataclysms of our time, survived war and peace, conquered tragedy and known triumph," President Ronald Reagan said in awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988.

The citation for the medal, the nation's highest civilian award, called her "a shining example, a woman of substance and character, a loyal wife and mother, and like her general, a patriot."

Near his death in 1964, MacArthur described his wife as "my constant friend, sweetheart and devoted supporter."

Mrs. MacArthur had remained active in theater, opera, civic and philanthropic pursuits and served as honorary chairman of the MacArthur Foundation in Norfolk, which was created as a memorial to her husband.

She remained a woman-about-town in New York through the 1980s, her name appearing in write-ups of parties attended by the rich and famous.

She was a big baseball fan and once recalled attending the Brooklyn Dodgers' celebration after they defeated the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. When the Dodgers moved west, she became a Mets fan.

Jean Marie Faircloth was born in Nashville. Her parents divorced when she was very young, and her mother took her children to live in their grandfather's home in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

She traveled widely after college and was on her way to China when she met MacArthur aboard ship in 1935. He was headed for Manila to become military adviser to the government of the Philippines.

MacArthur and Miss Faircloth were seated together at dinner. He sent flowers the next day. "That was that," she said later. She got off in Manila and remained for 1 1/2 years as their romance flowered.

They were married in a quiet ceremony in New York on April 30, 1937. It was his second marriage, her first. Thereafter, it often was noted that the general greeted his wife with great affection, no matter who was present.

Their son, Arthur, was born in Manila in 1938.

Mrs. MacArthur, while unassuming in public, strenuously guarded her family's private life. They entertained only during lunch; their evenings often included private showings of movies.

Despite her husband's status, she patiently waited in line at Army stores and commissaries, not asking for special privileges.

Survivors include her son and a sister.