Georgi M. Malenkov, 86, a close aide to Joseph Stalin who served as prime minister for two years after the Soviet dictator's death in 1953 and who later was sent into obscurity in Central Asia, died Jan. 14, a spokesman for the Soviet Foreign Ministry said yesterday.
The spokesman said that the announcement of Mr. Malenkov's death had been withheld at the request of his family. Neither the place nor cause of his death was released. In recent years, Mr. Malenkov had lived in Moscow.
Until he became premier, his career had been as a functionary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In 1925, he became a member of the party Central Committee staff and he later joined Stalin's personal secretariat. In 1939, he was named a secretary of the Central Committee and two years later he was named an alternate member of the Politburo. During World War II, he served on the State Defense Committee.
In all of these roles he was both a supporter and an instrument of Stalin's policies. Although details of his service are unknown, he reportedly helped plan the dictator's purges in the 1930s and again in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
In return, Stalin conferred on Mr. Malenkov special signs of favor. The greatest of these was in 1952, when Mr. Malenkov was chosen to present the Central Committee's report to the 19th Congress of the Communist Party. Previously, Stalin had handled this task himself.
Together with the death in 1948 of Andrei A. Zhdanov, a Malenkov rival, this made it appear that Mr. Malenkov was the heir apparent to "Great Stalin."
Two days after the dictator's death on March 5, 1953, Mr. Malenkov became the new prime minister. But his power was soon curtailed.
One important sign of this was his resignation from a small inner group that controlled the Communist Party. The party has always been the wellspring of power in the Soviet state. Although he remained a member of the Central Committee and the Politburo, Mr. Malenkov, by resigning from the inner circle, made it possible for Nikita S. Khrushchev to consolidate his power in the party.
A second sign of shifting power was the arrest, trial and execution of Lavrenti P. Beria, Stalin's feared secret police chief. With the removal of Beria from office, the security organizations were coming under increasing party control. Khrushchev and some other leaders were determined to break with the terrorist traditions of the Stalinist past and the role of the secret police was being changed.
In February 1955, Mr. Malenkov, his support eroded, made a public confession of failure and incompetence. He was replaced as premier by N.A. Bulganin. He was named minister of power stations but allowed to retain his Central Committee and Politburo posts.
Two years later, he and former Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and former Stalin aide Lazar Kaganovich tried to depose the triumphant Khrushchev as party chief and they prevailed in the Politburo. But Khrushchev, with the support of the army, appealed to the full Central Committee. The committee confirmed Khrushchev as first secretary of the party and expelled Mr. Malenkov and his co-conspirators.
Mr. Malenkov ended his career as manager of a hydroelectric station in a small town in eastern Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.
Soviet historian Roy Medvedev said in his 1984 book, "All Stalin's Men," that Mr. Malenkov "was a man who was precisely fitted for his time, an era that sought out and promoted people like him. He is a squalid, evil man who has lived a squalid, evil, unworthy life."
Georgi Maximilianovich Malenkov was born in Orenburg on the border of Europe and Asia in the Ural Mountains. He volunteered for Red Army service at age 17, joined the party in 1920, and later studied engineering at a technical school. He became a technical secretary with the Central Committee and then with the Politburo.
He became a protege of Kaganovich, caught Stalin's eye, and in 1934 was named personnel administrator of the Central Committee.
LEON R. JELLERSON, 64, a retired rear admiral who was chief medical officer of the Coast Guard, died Jan. 29 at Goodall Hospital in Sanford, Maine, after a heart attack.
Adm. Jellerson, a resident of East Lebanon, Maine, was born in Sanford. He served in the Navy in World War II. He received bachelor's and medical degrees at Boston University.
From 1952 to 1954, he was a U.S. Public Health Service officer assigned to the Department of Labor in Washington and then practiced medicine in Sanford. In 1969, he returned to the Public Health Service and was assigned to the Coast Guard.
He had assignments in New Jersey and Alaska before being stationed in Washington from 1975 to 1980 as chief of the operational medical division at Coast Guard headquarters. After a brief tour of duty in New York, he returned here as chief medical officer. He retired in 1985 and moved to Maine.
Adm. Jellerson's military decorations include the Coast Guard Legion of Merit.
His first wife, Elizabeth Jellerson, died in 1962.
Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Vaccaro Jellerson, of East Lebanon; five children by his first marriage, Susan Kerr and Stephen Jellerson, both of Coral Gables, Fla., Robert Jellerson of East Lebanon, Martha Kamens of Long Beach, Calif., and Jane Jellerson of Sanford; four children by his second marriage, David Jellerson of Tampa, Fla., Michael and Debra Jellerson, both of East Lebanon, and Robert Jellerson of Burke; one brother, Dr. Richard Jellerson of San Antonio, and two grandchildren.
ELSIE M. FETTER, 81, a retired secretary to the librarian of Congress, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Jan. 31 at a nursing home in Akron, Pa. She lived in Wyomissing, Pa.
She had been a member of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington.
Miss Fetter lived in the Washington area 20 years before returning to her native Pennsylvania in 1986. She was a secretary at the Library of Congress for 37 years before retiring in 1963. During World War II, she had served with the Red Cross in the Philippines and the Middle East.
She leaves no immediate survivors.
WILLIAM KARL HEINRICH GROTE, 79, president of the Frazier Precision Instrument Co. of Gaithersburg and a retired instrument maker with the National Bureau of Standards, died of cancer Jan. 29 at his home in Silver Spring.
Mr. Grote was born in Germany and came to this country in 1927. He lived in Hammond, Ind., before moving here in the early 1940s. He was a machinist at the Washington Navy Yard during World War II, then joined the NBS. He retired in 1962. After that, he became president of Frazier, a concern that makes test instruments.
He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Takoma Park. He was a past master of Arminius Masonic Lodge No. 25 in Washington, the Scottish Rite, and Almas Temple.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Frieda, of Silver Spring; two daughters, Elaine Scrivener of Hagerstown, and Inge Grote of Silver Spring; a sister, Elli Trappe of Hammond, and four grandchildren.