Herbert Saunders Jr., 51, a guard in the Federal Protective Service and a former member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Ward I, died Friday at the Washington Hospital Center. He had been suffering from a liver disorder.

Mr. Saunders was born in Washington. He graduated from old Dunabr High School and from Howard University, where he was a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He was commissioned in the Army and served in Korea.

In civilian life, he was the manager of the old Stage Door restaurant and Hotel at 618 T St. NW, which had been started by his father, until it closed in the late 1950s. He later worked for the Dunbar Hotel and as a salesman and driver for a beer company before joining the Federal Protective Service in the late 1960s. He was a guard at the FBI building at the time of his death.

In 1976, Mr. Saunders was elected to a one-year term on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Ward 1.

He was a member of the American Veterans Committee, the Characters Club and the First Team Inle.

Survivors include his wife, Dolores D. Saunders, of Washington, a daughter, Edna M. Saunders, also of Washington, and a sister, Shirley Tracey, of Canada.