George Stephen Maier, 83, a food merchant and banker in Washington whose business career spanned more than 50 years, died Sunday at Physicians Memorial Hospital in La Plata, Md. He had a heart aliment.

Mr. Maier, a native of Washington, operated a food market his family had established in the last century from the time he returned from World War I service in the Army until about 1965. In addition, he was a director of United Food Stores and of Wineland Theatres.

He also pursued a career in banking. He was a founder of the Fraklin Federal Savings and Loan Association in the 1920s and was its president until it merged with Eastern-Liberty Federal Savings and Loan in the early 1970s. He was a director and vice president of the Anacostia National Bank until it merged with the National Bank of Washington in the 1960s. He then became a vice president and director of National.

In 1975, Mr Maier retired to "wilcomico Knolls," a family property at Mount Victoria in Charles County, Md. He became an owner of The Maryland Independent, a weekly newspaper published in the county.

Mr. Maier was a member of the anacostia Lions Club and of the Anacostia Lodge, F.A.A.M.

Survivors include his wife, Edna Christie Maier, and a daughter, Murriel Maier Selph, both of the home in Mount Victoria; a sister, Clara Maier Simensen, of Colonial Beach, Va., and two granddaughters.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Physicians Memorial Hospital, La Plata. CAPTION: Picture, GEORGE STEPHEN MAIER