Helen H. Whiting, 86, who was active in garden clubs and did volunteer work in Winchester, Va., died Friday in Winchester Hospital. She suffered from cancer.

She was editor of the "Boxwood Bulletin," publisheded by the American Boxwood Society, from 1963 to 1977. Ht society honored her by naming a new species of boxwood in her honor in 1976.

Mrs. Whiting was a member of the Winchester-clarke County Garden Club and was a gold medal winner of the Garden Club of America.

She did volunteer work for the library board and the historical society in Winchester.

Mrs. Whiting was a native of Pittsburgh and came to Washington during world War i, when she worked as volunteer nurse at Walter Reed Hospital.

She was a graduate of Oberlin College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Her hunband, retired Army Col. Edgar M. Whiting, died in 1838.

She moved to Winchester in 1934, where she was a member of Christ Episcopal Church.

Survivors include a daughter, Meta W. Lytle, of Seattle; sid sons, retired Air Force Col. Carlye F., of Rochester, N.Y., Henry H., of Winchester, Edgar M. Jr., of Charles Town ,W.Va, William H., of Washington, James H., of Richmond, and F. Beverley, of Norfolk; 22 grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren.