Dorothy Brisson Saunders
Dorothy Brisson Saunders
  • June 29, 1928 - January 9, 2018
  • Durham, North Carolina

Share This Obituary

Arrangements made by

John M. Taylor Funeral Home

147 Duke Of Gloucester St
Annapolis, MD 21401
Get Directions

Profile of John M. Taylor Funeral Home

View Phone Number
View Fax Number

Dorothy Brisson Saunders, formerly of Edgewater, Maryland, passed away peacefully on January 9, 2018, surrounded by her loving family.

Dorothy was born on June 29, 1928, in Exeter, New Hampshire, the second of six children of Gertrude and Dona Brisson. She attended Robinson Female Seminary in Exeter, and though her resume modestly excluded this fact, was valedictorian of the class of 1945. A gifted writer, Dorothy attended Boston University, graduating with a degree in journalism in 1949.

After taking graduate courses in publishing at Radcliffe College, Dorothy accepted a position as personal secretary for the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, John P. Marquand. She worked for Mr. Marquand for five years. During that time, Mr. Marquand completed the critically-acclaimed novel, Women and Thomas Harrow; he dedicated the novel to Dorothy.

In 1956, Dorothy fell in love with a handsome young southerner, Jackson (Jack) Saunders. They were married in 1958 and moved to Annapolis, Maryland, settling eventually in the farmhouse on Solomons’ Island Road in Edgewater, where they lived for almost sixty years. There they raised three children, Barry, Alexandra (Lexey), and Stuart (Jeb).

Dorothy loved to write and was a skilled writer and editor. With her good friend, Joan Church, Dorothy edited the first edition of Moorings, the monthly magazine of St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis. She continued to write for and edit the magazine throughout the 1970’s, and also did archival work on the history of St. Mary’s, editing (with Ms. Church) a history of the Church published in 1975.

In 1981, Dorothy embarked on a second career, as director of the South County Senior Center in Shady Side, Maryland. She loved the job, treasuring her relationships with the seniors for whom she did so much, and her friendships with the many colleagues who shared her passion. In 1991, her last year as director, Dorothy oversaw the move of the senior center to its current location in Edgewater.

In her retirement, Dorothy continued her work as an officer of the College Women’s Club of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, and as a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. She was an avid reader and participated in a monthly book club for many years, and was a hospice volunteer.

Dorothy was a person of great faith and abounding love. She adored her parents and her three brothers and two sisters and her nieces and nephews. She doted on her five grandchildren. She loved Jack and her children immensely. She was the center of their world.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, Gertrude and Dona Brisson, and by her brothers, Paul Brisson, Bernard Brisson, and Richard Brisson. She is survived by sisters Julia Kelly and Geraldine Spencer; husband, Jack; children, Barry (and spouse Susan), Lexey (and spouse Michael Esposito), and Jeb (and spouse Molly Mullin); and grandchildren, Eleanor and Haley Saunders, Michael Esposito, and Frances and Dorothy Mullin-Saunders.

Visitation hours at John M. Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, MD, will be 2-4 and 7-9 pm on Friday January 12. A funeral mass will be said at St. Mary’s Church, 109 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, MD at 9am on Saturday January 13, followed by procession to the burial at Lakemont Memorial Gardens, Davidsonville, MD.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Holy Cross Church, 2182 Queen St., Christiansted, US Virgin Islands, 00820, care of Father E. Patrick Lynch, C.Ss.R.; or Camp Nejeda (for children with diabetes) in Newton, NJ (; orSt . Mary’s Church in Annapolis (