Mary de la Torre Pinkard, 64, who retired recently from the Housing and Urban Development Department where she had worked in housing and equal opportunity programs, died of cancer Dec. 15 at the Potomac Valley Nursing Home in Rockville.She lived in Washington until she moved to the Potomac Valley facility about a month and a half ago.

Her last position at HUD had been that of director of the office of program standards and evaluation in the office of fair housing and equal opportunity.

Mrs. Pinkard entered federal service in 1940 with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. She became chairman of the local of the CIO's Federal Workers Union there.

From 1943 to 1946, she taught at the junior high school level in the D. C. public school system. She then became an organizer for the CIO.

She returned to the federal government in 1952 as secretary in the intergroup relations office of the old Public Housing Administration. Six years later she joined the staff of the Southwest Demonstration Project, helping to relocate families displaced by southwest redevelopment in the city.

In 1960-62, Mrs. Pinkard became administrative assistant to the Housing Committee on Education and Labor. She returned to the PHA in 1962 and became assistant director of intergroup relations.

After HUD was established in 1965, she became chairman of a task force on policy and procedure in the office of equal opportunity. In 1969, she was named director of equal opportunity for model cities.

Later she was named director of program standards and data analysis, then served as HUD's first federal women's program coordinator before returning to the office of program standards in 1974.

Mrs. Pinkard was born and reared in Orange, N.J. She was a graduate of the former D.C. Teachers College and took further work at Catholic University and Middlebury College in Vermont.

She had been active in the Churchwomen United of D.C. and D.C. Federally Employed Women and had served on the board of the D.C. Halfway House for Women.

Her marriage to John Pinkard ended in divorce.

Survivors include a son, David E. Pinkard of Washington, and a sister, Anita J. Hancock of Browns Mills, N.J.