Ruth E. Stocking, 86, a former senior psychiatrist with the D.C. Department of Health and a former director of the Hillcrest Children's Center's Children's House, died Nov. 29 of a coronary occlusion in a Portola Valley, Calif., retirement home.

Dr. Stocking graduated from the University of Chicago Medical School in 1931. She worked for 10 years in Michigan first as a field physician for the Michigan Department of Health and then as medical adviser to the Federal Social Security Board before moving to Washington.

She was a student at the Washington School of Psychiatry.

In 1946, she joined the D.C. Health Department, where she became a senior psychiatrist.

She also became a faculty member of the Neutro-Psychiatry Division of Howard University Medical School, remaining there until 1959.

In 1953, after four years of serving as a consulting psychiatrist for the Children's House, a cooperating agency of the Hillcrest Children's Center, Dr. Stocking was appointed director of that agency, a position she held until 1958. Children's House has since been absorbed by the Hillcrest Children's Center, which was organized disturbed children.

A year later, Dr. Stocking was named to the D.C. Board of Education child study division. She specialized in diagnosing the emotional problems of uncontrollable, antagonistic children.

In 1965, when she retired, Dr. Stocking moved to Saratoga, Calif.

Born in Clarendon, Texas, Dr. Stocking graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas. She taught mathematics at Clarendon College, worked for several years on the staff of the statistical division of the Department of Labor, and worked with J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency in New York City before entering medical school.

She was a member of the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association.

Survivors include her sister, Mrs. William McConnell, of Amarillo, Texas; and two brothers, Collis A. Stocking, of Arlington, and Dr. Hobard E. Stocking, of Stillwater, Okla.