Orville Jackson Saunders Sr., 63, a retired Army master sergeant who owned and operated watch repair businesses here for 30 years, died of cancer Wednesday at the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Washington.

During his 20-year Army career, Mr. Saunders served as a mess sergeant at military installations in the country and on Okinawa, where he was stationed in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

He served as a cook to Army Gen- Omar N. Bradley while Gen Bradley was first chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1949 to 1953.

Mr. Saunders also served as a mess sergeant at Fort Belvoir and was a bakery supervisor at Fort Myer. He was stationed at Fort Myer when he retired in 1961.

After his military retirement, Mr. Saunders studied watch repairing and began operating a watch repair and retail women's apparel store in Washington in about 1950.

About two years later, he opened a watch repair shop called D.C. Horologist, which he operated for several years.

Subsequently, he was hired by the Timex Corp., travelling the Eastern Seaboard as a consultant for the company. He left Timex about two years ago to reopen the D.C. Horologist watch repair service on Capitol Hill. He retired earlier this year for reasons of health.

Mr. Saunders was born in Belle Vernon, Pa., and lived in Washington. He was a Mason.

Survivors include his wife of 31 years Lillian C. Saunders, a son, Orville J. II, and a daughter, Arvella L., all of Washington; four sisters, Louisa A. Felder and Prudence Elliott, both of New York City, and Helen Richards and Elizabeth Brooks, both of Monessen, Pa., and a brother, Harold, also of Monessen.