Dorothea M. Saunders, 88, a Washington homemaker who belonged to St. Ann Catholic Church in the Tenleytown neighborhood for more than five decades, died Nov. 9 at the Milly’s Home assisted living facility in Fairfax County.

She had congestive heart failure, said her son Paul Saunders.

Dorothea Mae Hager was born in Baltimore and raised in Mount Rainier. She was a graduate of the Academy of Notre Dame in Washington and studied nursing at Georgetown University during World War II.

Before her children were born, she worked in Washington for several years as a nurse. She moved to the Virginian retirement community in Fairfax City in 2006.

Her husband of 60 years, Joseph J. Saunders, died in 2006. Their son Joseph W. Saunders died in 2002.

Survivors include nine children, Catherine Saunders of Oakland, Calif., Mary Dant of Whispering Pines, N.C., Dorothy Saunders and Sarah Saunders, both of Fairfax County, James Saunders of North Bethesda, Teresa Saunders of Munich and Arlington County, John Saunders of Wheaton, Paul Saunders of Falls Church and Carolyn MacGregor of Seattle; 14 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

— Emily Langer