E. Earl Atwood, 62, a retired employe of the Central Intelligence Agency who owned Brentwood Stables in Fairfax County, died of congestive heart failure Monday at Alexandria Hospital.

He joined the CIA after serving in the Office of Strategic during World War II and the State Department after the war. He was a branch chief at the CIA for more than 15 years before retiring in 1974.

Mr. Atwood had owned stables in Northern Virginia for more than 35 years. He owned and operated Brentwood Stables, first near Fort Hunt and now in Aldie, Va., for the past 25 years.

In addition to showing jumpers in many area horse shows, he taught children's riding classes at the stable for many years. For the past several years he had raised "cross-bred" ponies, large ponies produced by crossing ponies with quarter horses.

Mr. Atwood was a native of Decatur, Tex. He came to Washington in 1938.

He was a member of the Alexandria Moose Lodge.

He is survived by his wife, Leah, of the home in Aldie; a son, Donald, of Arlington; his stepmother, Padie Lou Atwood, of Okemah, Okla., and a brother, William, of Florida.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Fund of Northern Virginia or the Potomac Lung Association.