Margaret Richesin Dodder, 77, a retired home economics teacher in D.C. public schools and a Washington resident for more than 30 years, died of congestive heart failure Thursday at her home here.

Mrs. Dodder was born in Springfield, Mo., and grew up there and in Fairfax, Okla. Before attending college in Oklahoma and Iowa, she taught at Indian reservations in Oklahoma. She later earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Maryland, where she also completed course work for a doctorate in home economics education.

A former Ohio schoolteacher, she moved here in 1940 and taught in Prince George's County public schools for a short time. In 1941, she transferred to the D.C. public school system. She taught at Tyler Elementary School here for a number of years before retiring in 1971.

Mrs. Dodder and her husband, Bernard T., lived in Port Charlotte, Fla., from 1971 until November of last year, when they returned to Washington.

She was a member of the Home Economics Association and a charter member of the American Association of University Women in Port Charlotte. m

Besides her husband, survivors include two daughters, Freda Jean Nicol of Hyattsville, and Eleanor Pernia of Beltsville; two sisters, Madeline Noel of Hominy, Okla., and Virginia Colewell of Iola, Kan., a brother, Argus Richesin of Tulsa, Okla., six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.