John L. Sauer, 90, a retired machinist with the Post Office Department, died Thursday at the Greenbelt Convalescent Center, where he had resided for three weeks. He had arteriosclerosis and had suffered a broken hip in a fall in November.

Mr. Sauer retired in 1953 after 32 years with the mail equipment shop of the department here. The shop handled equipment used in post offices all over the country.

Mr. Sauer was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He served as an infantryman with the Army in France and Germany during World War I and was with occupation forces in Germany after the war.

He came to the Washington area in 1921. During World War II, he served for about a year with the Maryland National Guard.

Mr. Sauer was a charter member of Phillips Kleiner Post 5627 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He had lived in Berwyn Heights for many years. v

His wife, Ruth Joy, died in 1972.

He is survived by three daughters, Ruth G. Ellsworth, of Silver Spring, M. Elizabeth Prosise, of Berwyn Heights, and Leah J. Harcourt, of Annandale, and seven grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Phillips Kleiner VFW Post College Park.