NEUCHATEL, SWITZERLAND -- Friedrich Duerrenmatt, 69, a writer whose irony-filled plays were translated into more than 50 languages, died of a heart attack Dec. 14 at his home here, 60 miles north of Geneva. He had diabetes.

His plays and novels often explored apocalyptic themes, and proved popular worldwide. He was believed to have been the most widely played contemporary dramatist since Bertolt Brecht, and his works were widely translated from the German. He mingled gloom with impish irony and paradoxes in his plays, which he referred to as "comedies."

Mr. Duerrenmatt was the author of the plays "The Visit" and "The Physicists." His collected works, more than 30 volumes, also included novels and his convoluted "sttoffe," or "materials," which blend fiction with autobiographical notes and a vision of World War III.

His worldwide reputation was established by "The Visit," premiered in 1955, in which an entire town slowly yields to the temptation of murdering one of its burghers for the sake of a promised fortune. In "The Physicists," first performed in 1961, the main characters escape nuclear-age realities in a madhouse.

Mr. Duerrenmatt, an atheist, was born the son of a Protestant minister near the Swiss capital, Bern. His first success was "Romulus the Great" in 1949, which he labeled an "unhistorical historical comedy" about the fall of the Roman Empire. Among other plays were "The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi" in 1950, which mocked ideology as a solution to man's predicament, and "An Angel Goes to Babylon," a 1953 drama.

His literary awards included the Buechner Prize, the leading prize for German-language literature.

He also was a strong critic of the Swiss political and economic system, and once said the country "turns self-complacency into a political cult." In the 1960s, he drew conservative ire with a parody version of a national anthem that suggested that the most hallowed feature of the country was its bank secrecy law.

Survivors include his second wife, Charlotte Kerr, whom he married in 1984. His first wife, the mother of his three children, died in early 1983.


Government Workers

George Robert Harrod, 69, a former D.C. government personnel chief and D.C. Wage and Hours Board chairman, died Dec. 5 at Washington Hospital Center. He had a heart ailment.

His wife, Anita Kennison Harrod, 67, a former federal government clerk, died Nov. 18 at Providence Hospital after a stroke. They lived in Washington, where they were members of Metropolitan AME Church.

Mr. Harrod was a native of Washington and graduate of Armstrong High School. He attended West Virginia and Howard universities.

He took a job at the Washington Navy Yard in 1940, then served in the Aleutian Islands during World War II. Returning to the Navy Yard, he began doing personnel work there in 1957. He worked for the Post Office Department from 1962 to 1972, becoming a regional personnel director. In 1972 and 1973, he worked for the General Services Administration, where he was an assistant regional personnel director.

He joined the D.C. government in 1973, serving as an assistant personnel director until becoming head of personnel in 1976. He held that post until 1979. From 1981 to 1989, he he was chairman of the Wage and Hours Board.

Mr. Harrod was a past commander of the Navy Yard War Veterans Post 9.

Mrs. Harrod, also a native of Washington, was a 1939 graduate of Dunbar High School. She attended Miner Teachers College. She spent 32 years with the Naval Research Lab before retiring as a supply clerk in 1980.

She was a member of the MRS social club.

Her survivors include three daughters, Cheryl Harrod Brown, Beverly M. Latimer and Joyce Denise Harrod, all of Washington; and four grandchildren.

Mr. Harrod's survivors include a fourth daughter, Adrienne J. Gillette, and his mother, Bessie M. Dorsey, both of Washington; and six grandchildren.


Maryland Transportation Official

Gaila Lynn Pryor, 38, the assistant secretary for finance of the Maryland Department of Transportation, died of cancer Dec. 13 at Washington Hospital Center.

Miss Pryor, a resident of Bowie, was responsible for developing the Transportation Department's $1.5 billion budget, and she also served as a consultant to the Maryland Transportation Authority. She had been assistant secretary since 1986, and before that she was the director of budget management in the Department of Transportation.

A native of Washington, Miss Pryor graduated from Central High School in Capitol Heights and from Howard University.

She began her career in the Maryland government in 1974 as a budget analyst in the Department of Fiscal Services, the legislative support agency of the Maryland General Assembly. She remained there until joining the Department of Transportation in 1983.

Miss Pryor was a member of the National Association of State Budget Officers, the Maryland Public Finance Officer's Association and the National Government Finance Officer's Association.

Survivors include her mother, Ernestine Pryor of Lake Worth, Fla.; and a brother, Robert Pryor Jr. of Capitol Heights.


Navy Commander, GWU Professor

Marvin S. Katzman, 57, an associate professor at George Washington University who had served in the Navy 20 years before retiring as a commander in 1975, died of cancer Dec. 12 at the Hospice of Northern Virginia. He lived in Alexandria.

At the time of his death, Dr. Katzman was associate professor of human resources management in what is now the university's School of Business and Public Management. He also was the businesss school's faculty coordinator of cooperative education.

He also had served as the business school's Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps representative and the business school's assistant dean for undergraduate programs. He had been a member of the faculty since 1981.

Dr. Katzman, an area resident since 1971, was a native of Louisville. He was a 1955 accounting graduate of the University of Louisville. He received master's and doctoral degrees in business administration from George Washington University.

In 1955, he became a Navy officer and pilot. He flew P-3 Orion aircraft from the Philippines over Southeast Asian waters during the Vietnam War. His last assignment, before retiring from active duty, was as an Armed Forces police commander for the Military District of Washington.

Before joining the GWU faculty, he had done consulting work.

Dr. Katzman was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honorary business society.

Survivors include his wife, Mona, two sons, Stewart and Scott, and mother, Mary C. Katzman, all of Alexandria; and a brother, Glenn, of Indianapolis.


Plastic Surgeon

J. Gordon Bell, 82, a longtime area plastic surgeon who had served as chief of plastic surgery at Doctors Hospital in Washington for 30 years, died of kidney failure Dec. 13 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Bell engaged in private practice in Washington from 1939 to 1980, and then in Rosslyn until retiring in 1985. Over the years, he had helped start the plastic surgery programs at George Washington and Georgetown university hospitals as well as Gallinger and Doctors hospitals.

Board certified in both plastic surgery and ear nose and throat medicine, he was a member of the Double-Boarded Society. He was a life member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the D.C. Medical Society. He also was a member of the Motorcycling Doctors Association and rode cycles until about five years ago.

Dr. Bell, an area resident since 1939 who lived in Washington, was a native of Covington, Va. He was a graduate of Lynchburg College and a 1933 graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. During World War II, he was a plastic surgery consultant to Walter Reed Army Hospital.

His first wife, the former Anna-Lee Paschall, died in 1960. Survivors include his wife, Marilyn, of Washington, and their five children, Robert, John "Jake", Susannah, Anne, and Jennifer Bell, all of Washington; a son by his first marriage, John P., of New Jersey; and a sister, Delberta Bennett of Miami Springs, Fla.


Air Force Official

Henry Duncan Green III, 80, a retired civilian deputy chief of operations of the Air Force, died of cancer Dec. 12 at a hospital in Miami.

Mr. Green was born in Manila and moved with his family to Washington when he was 6 years old. He graduated from Central High School and later joined an engineering unit of the D.C. National Guard.

In 1936 he began working for the Labor Department, where he helped prepare the first Consumer Price Index. His National Guard unit was activated during World War II, and Mr. Green participated in combat operations at Guadalcanal, New Georgia and Bougainville. He also served in London during the war. He received a Bronze Star.

After the war Mr. Green worked briefly for the Labor Department, specializing in veterans housing programs, then joined the civilian operations staff of the Air Force. He retired in 1971. He had received a Distinguished Service Medal.

Mr. Green was a former resident of Falls Church, Arlington and Mount Vernon, and he had participated in parent-teacher associations in all three communities. On retirement he moved to Virginia Beach, where he lived until 1984 when he moved to Homestead, Fla.

His wife of 49 years, Jane Clark Green, died in 1988.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy Jones Green of Homestead; four children of his first marriage, Henry Duncan Green IV of Potomac, Joseph Green of Alexandria, David Green of Morristown, N.J., and Jane Brigham of Baltimore; a brother, Martin L. Green of McLean; and eight grandchildren.


Longtime Arlington Resident

Marie S. Brice, 95, a resident of Arlington since coming to the Washington area 30 years ago, died of cancer Dec. 6 at Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital.

She was born in Prodosky, Brazil, and moved to her family's native village in Lebanon, Bayt Mindir, when she was three years old. She was married there at age 15 and then immigrated to Wheeling, W. Va., where she lived until 1960.

Her husband, Thomas Brice-Shediaq, died in 1938.

Survivors include two sons, Edward Brice of Arlington and Father Donald Brice of Washington; five daughters, Helen Johnson and Margaret Kennedy, both of Annandale, Rosaline Bryson of Tupelo, Miss., Manell Brice of Arlington and Sister Thomas Marie Brice of Washington; two sisters, Sister Esmeralda Sa'ada and Mantura Parodi, both of Rio de Janeiro; 14 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.


Loan Accountant

C. Mark Underwood, 27, a loan accountant with the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. in Vienna, died at Fairfax Hospital Dec. 2 of injuries he suffered a short time earlier in a traffic accident on Interstate 66.

Virginia State Police said Mr. Underwood was westbound on I-66 when the car he was driving ran off the road near Route 50 and overturned. They said the accident happened at 11:50 p.m. Dec. 1.

A resident of Gainesville, Mr. Underwood was born in Washington and raised in Camp Springs. He graduated from Bishop McNamara High School, where he played on the football team, and he was an altar boy at St. Phillips Catholic Church in Camp Springs.

He graduated from Arizona State University and then worked for U-Haul Co. in Phoenix until returning to the Washington area in 1988. He joined the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. about a year ago.

Mr. Underwood was studying Japanese and piano at Northern Virginia Community College.

Survivors include his parents, Robert and Catherine Underwood of Gainesville; five sisters, Kathleen Lambiasi of Haymarket, Mary Tucker of Danville, Va., Ida Ragan of Manassas, Linda Milburn of Frederick, Md., and Theresa Solebello of Gainesville; two brothers, Robert Underwood Jr. of Haymarket and David Underwood of Lusby, Md., and a grandmother, Ida Sellner of Suitland.


Former Capitol Hill Aide

Ann Elizabeth Foster, 44, a former Capitol Hill aide and travel agent, died Dec. 9 at a hospital St. Petersburg, Fla., of injuries she received earlier that day in a traffic accident in Oldsmar, Fla.

A spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department said Miss Foster was crossing a road on foot when she was struck by a jeep.

Miss Foster, who lived in the Washington area between 1963 and 1985, had lived in Dunedin, Fla., for six months. Prior to that, she had lived in Clearwater, Fla., for more than five years.

While a resident of this area in the 1960s and 1970s, Miss Foster worked for former Sen. William L. Scott (R-Va.), Rep. William H. Hudnut (R-Ind.), and Rep. Craig Hosmer (R-Calif.)

She worked for travel agencies in Washington and Fairfax before moving to Florida.

Miss Foster was a native of Dallas and had a bachelor's degree in English from Stephens College. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Young Republican Club of Washington, the Figowee Ski Club and Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria. She was president of the Stephens College Alumnae organization here.

Survivors include her parents, Richard and Hiawanda Foster of Alexandria, and a sister, Sara Foster Schellhorn of Dowingtown, Pa.


Dominican Sister

Sister Mary Clare Manion, 75, a Dominican sister and a former community superior and librarian at the Dominican Retreat in McLean, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 13 at Fairfax Hospital.

Sister Mary Clare was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Rosemont College. She had a masters degree in theology from Providence College and one in library science from Catholic University. Before entering the Dominican Community in 1943, she was a secretary to her father, who was Philadelphia area manager of the American Chain and Cable Co.

Before moving to the Dominican Retreat in McLean in 1973, she was assigned at Dominican retreat houses in Elkins Park, Pa., and Dayton, Ohio. Her duties in this area had included logistical and administrative arrangements for retreats and assisting at periodic gatherings of men and women meeting under the auspices of the Dominican order.

Survivors include five sisters, Dolores Matthews of Narberth, Pa., Gertrude Carr of Oklahoma City, Marcella Williams of Newark, Del., Bernice Vogts of Springfield, Pa., and Rosemary Acosta of King of Prussia, Pa.


Civil Engineer

Gerald Burke Coe, 84, a retired Naval Gun Factory civil engineer, died Dec. 8 at Fairfax Hospital after a heart attack.

Mr. Coe, who lived in Falls Church, was born in Minnesota. He moved to the Washington area in 1915 and graduated from Eastern High School and the University of Maryland.

As a young man he worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Yakima Indian Reservation in Washington State and for the Bureau of Reclamation at the Grand Coulee and Shasta dams.

During World War II he worked for Kaiser Cargo Shipbuilders in San Francisco, then returned to Washington, where he worked in the Office of the Chief of Engineers of the Army Corps of Engineers and later the Naval Gun Factory, from which he retired in 1965.

He had served on the senior citizens advisory board of the City of Falls Church.

Mr. Coe was a Mason, a member of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon and a fellow of the Washington Society of Cinematography.

Survivors include his wife, Juanita Coe of Falls Church; a daughter, Carolyn Earnest of Brunswick, Maine; two grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.


Church Member and Volunteer

Lillian Sakai Brott, 67, a member of Nativity Lutheran Church in Alexandria and a volunteer interpreter for the National Visitors Information Service at airports, died of lung and heart ailments Dec. 14 at her home in Alexandria.

Mrs. Brott was born in Vladivostock in the Soviet Union, where her father was posted as a Japanese diplomat. She grew up in China and Manchuria and graduated from the University of Manchuria. After the communist takeover of China in 1949, she was held prisoner until escaping to Japan in 1954.

She married Frederick Feild Brott, a civilian employee of the U.S. Army in Japan, in 1955, and they later lived in Hawaii. Mrs. Brott taught Japanese and Russian at Punahoe School and the University of Hawaii.

They moved to the Washington area in 1967.

Mrs. Brott attended community Bible study classes in Alexandria.

In addition to her husband, of Alexandria, survivors include a son, Frederick Dwight Brott of Schlossborn, Germany; and two grandchildren.


Annandale Resident

Loren G. Van Zile, 92, an area resident for the past two years who had attended the Church of the Apostles in Fairfax, died of congestive heart failure Dec. 12 at his home in Annandale.

Mr. Van Zile, a native of Carthage, Ill., worked in the insurance business in Chicago for 35 years before retiring in 1965. He was a graduate of Kansas State University and an Army veteran of World War I.

His wife, Mildred H., died in 1988. Survivors include two daughters, Marjorie Nystrom of Falls Church and Polly Moore of Des Moines; 18 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.


Lifelong Resident

Maude Cecelia White, 90, a native of Washington and a 50-year resident of the McLean area, died Dec. 10 at Arlington Hospital of complications from heart disease.

She was a graduate of Business High School in Washington and worked for several years after World War I as a government secretary

She moved from Washington to Northern Virginia about 60 years ago. She had been a member of the Northern Virginia Heart Association and belonged to Trinity Methodist Church in McLean.

Her husband, Clay M. White, died in 1967. She leaves no immediate survivors.


Plumber and Printer

George E. Alvey, 54, a plumber and former printer who was a Washington native and Suitland High School graduate, died of cancer Dec. 13 at Southern Maryland Hospital. He lived in Suitland.

For the past five years, he had worked for the Alvey Plumbing and Heating, a Landover-based family business. Before that, he had been a printer with Judd & Detweiler here for about 30 years.

Survivors include his mother, Katherine Alvey of Suitland; a brother, Roger, of Landover; and a sister, Betty A. Neill of Forestville.


State Dept. Personnel Officer

Eva Karpischek McKay, 68, a retired State Department personnel officer, died of cancer Dec. 13 at Fairfax Hospital. She lived in Vienna.

Mrs. McKay was a personnel officer at the State Department from 1946 to 1968. She worked first for the Foreign Service at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, then at State Department headquarters from 1947 until her retirement.

She was a native of Vienna, Austria, who emigrated to Columbus, Ohio, when she was four. After graduating from George Washington University with a degree in European history, she worked at the National Archives for about a year.

Mrs. McKay was a volunteer at the annual State Department book fair sponsored by the Association of American Foreign Service Women. She belonged to the Vienna Women's Club, the Friends of the Patrick Henry Library in Vienna and the Glencannon Community Association.

Survivors include her husband, Fred J. McKay of Vienna.