Ernest G. Rafey, a family doctor who practiced in Northern Virginia for nearly five decades, died Jan. 19 at the Sunrise senior living community in Falls Church. He was 88.

He had dementia, his son Richter A. Rafey said.

Dr. Rafey opened a family practice in Annandale in 1963 and expanded it in 1972 into Medic-24 Ltd., a 24-hour private practice with locations in McLean and Baileys Crossroads. He later changed the name to First Medic and sold the operation to what is now Inova Fairfax Hospital, his son said.

Dr. Rafey retired in 2010 after working for 17 years as a civilian doctor at the Andrew Rader health clinic at Fort Myer in Northern Virginia. He was among the first responders who took part in medical rescue efforts at the Pentagon after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, his son said.

Anees George Ameen was born in Hopewell, Va., and changed his name to Ernest George Rafey. He served as an Army medic during World War II in the European and Pacific theaters and received decorations including the Bronze Star Medal.

He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1950 and a medical degree in 1954, both from the University of Virginia. He settled in the Washington area in 1963 after beginning his medical career in Ohio.

Dr. Rafey, a longtime resident of the Falls Church area, was a past president of the Lake Barcroft Association and belonged to the Masons, the Smithsonian Associates, the American Druze Society and the American Arabic Association, his son said.

Dr. Rafey’s wife of 49 years, Roslyn Broida Rafey, died in 2010. Survivors include four children, Gail Sher of Albany, Calif., Larry Rafey of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Beverly Appel of Barnet, Vt., and Richter A. Rafey of Santa Clara, Calif.; a half brother; and two grandchildren.

— Emily Langer