Virginia Christopher Farland, 59, who was active in charitable organizations for many years and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph S. Farland, died Saturday at her home in Winchester, Va., of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Winchester police ruled the death a suicide.

She was a native of Morgantown, W. Va., and had attended West Virginia University there.

Mrs. Farland, who maintained a home in Washington, had accompanied her husband to ambassadorial posts in Panama, the Dominican Republic, Pakistan and Iran before moving to Winchester in 1976.

She had long been active in Project Hope, the international medical mission, and had served on its acquisitions committee and as chairman of the Project Hope ball.

Her family estate in Millwood, Va., the historic 18th-century Carter Hall, was purchased by Project Hope last year.The 20-room house will serve as a center for education and research, as well as headquarters for the organization.

Mrs. Farland had also been active through the years in the Episcopal Church, the Community Chest, the Tuberculosis Society and the PTA.

She was a member of the Sulgrave Club of Washington and the Chevy Chase Club.

In addition to her husband, of the home, she is survived by four children, Brooke R. of London, formerly of Washington; Page Farland Craw, of North, Va.; Richard A., of Millwood, and Christopher S., of Washington, and six grandchildren.