Julius M. Sauber, 77, who had been engaged in the florist business in Washington for more than 40 years, died Monday at the Bethesda Retirement and Nursing Center in Chevy Chase after a stroke. He had been a resident there for about a year.

Mr. Sauber was president of McCallum Sauber Florists Inc. for about 10 years before he retired in 1977. He had been associated with the business since 1930.

He was a former president of the Allied Florists Association and of its wholesale division. For many years, he had been director of Washington's annual Flower and Garden Show.

Mr. Sauber was born in Baltimore. He grew up in Washington and graduated from the old Business High School here, where he was valedictorian of his class.

He played as an outfielder on the championship Rialto and Herzl baseball teams here. He was a member of Adas Israel Congregation.

For many years, Mr. Sauber had served as a trustee of the Walter Kempner Foundation at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C. It specializes in research on hypertension and heart diseases.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and a daughter, Barbara Melnicove, both of Bethesda; a son, Frank, of Rockville; a brother, Ben, of Washington, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Kempner Foundation.