Paula Engle, 29, a former resident of Falls Church and a graduate of J.E.B. Stuart High School, died of carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday near Denver.

The Jefferson County, Colo., corner said Miss Engle was found in her automobile. He said her death had been ruled a suicide. Jefferson County is part of suburban Denver.

Miss Engle had been visiting her father, Dr. Paul Engle, in Santa Ana, Calif. She was on her way to New York City to be married. She became ill in Denver and was hospitalized for psychiatric treatment. She was being treated as an outpatient at the time of her death, according to her mother, Eloise Engle Paananen, of Falls Church.

Miss Engle was born in the Mariana Islands when her father was stationed there as a physician in the Navy. Theh family moved to Falls Church in the early 1950s, and she grew up there.

After graduating from Stuart High School, she went to the University of California at Berkeley. She was active in the movement against the war in Vietnam and in other causes. She graduated in 1975 with a degree in mathematics.

She had worked as a nurse's aide at Fairfax and Sibley Memorial hospitals since her graduation.

In addition to her parents, survivors include a sister, Margaret Swenholt, and a brother, David Engle, both of Arlington.