Dorothy J. Watling, 80, a Northern Virginia community activist who participated in parent-teacher issues and Republican Party politics, died May 9 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She lived in McLean.

Her son, Chris Watling, said she died of complications from an accidental fall.

Mrs. Watling, who was known as Deegee, had served on the parent-teacher associations of Chesterbrook Elementary School and McLean High School, the Fairfax County Council of PTAs and the school superintendent’s community advisory council. In the 1980s and 1990s, she was a Fairfax County substitute teacher.

In the 1980s, Mrs. Watling began a McLean High School initiative called “Parents Who Care,” aimed at taking a close look at teenage drug use.

She was president of the Greater McLean Republican Women’s Club and a member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee.

Dorothy Jane Reuter was born in Boston. She graduated in 1954 from Sargent College at Boston University. She accompanied her husband on Army postings to California, Panama and Pennsylvania before they settled in the Washington area in 1970.

Survivors include her husband of 53 years, retired Army Col. Edward T. Watling of McLean; four sons, Peter Watling of Glen Allen, Va., Ted Watling of Herndon, Chris Watling of Takoma Park and Rick Watling of Pittsburgh; two sisters; and nine grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes