Joseph R. Jelinek, 58, a brigadier general who retired for reasons of health last November as deputy director of the Army National Guard Bureau, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Fairfax.

Gen. Jelinek had been assigned to the National Guard at the Defense Department since 1967. For 20 years prior to that time, he had held various posts in the Nebraska National Guard in Nebraska.

He was born in Omaha and enlisted in the Nebraska National Guard in 1939, a year after he entered Creighton University in Omaha. He was commissioned during World War II and served in New Guinea, the Philippines and in the occupation of Japan.

He left the service in 1946 but rejoined the National Guard in 1947. He served with the Guard until assigned to Washington in 19677 with with the Army.

Gen. Jelinek's decorations included the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Medal and the Purple Heart.

Survivors include his wife, Eleanor, of the home in Fairfax; a daughter, Cindy Alvarez, of Mason City, Iowa; four sons, Donadld Paul, of Falls Church; Joseph Michael, a student at the University of Negraska; Steven Richard, of Chantilly, and David Alan, of the home; two brothers Richard of Hollywood Calif. and Ervin of Milwaukee; a sister Marion DeFreese of Alexandria and seven grandchildren.