Manuel Jaramillo, 80, local consul for Ecuador

March 24, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Manuel Jaramillo, the consul of Ecuador in Baltimore, died Wednesday of complications from pneumonia at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 80 and lived in Charles Village.

For the past 21 years, he had assisted Ecuadoreans here while representing the business and maritime interests of his country.

Remembered for his immaculate attire, exuberant hospitality and social graces, he often entertained visitors from South America and introduced them to Baltimoreans in the home he restored in the 2900 block of N. Charles St.

"He was a gourmet cook who found great excitement and enjoyment in food," said Fran Hershfield, a friend who lives in Sparks. "He presented food beautifully, artistically. You'd walk into his house and it smelled of something wonderful. He was a very warm person."

Mr. Jaramillo, president of the Baltimore Consular Corps in 1998 and 1999, enjoyed presiding at events with an international flavor.

When the Ecuadorean tall ship Guayas called on Baltimore in 1976, he was host at its official reception, which included music by the ship's orchestra. He was a ballroom dancer and a skilled tango artist.

"He was a kind person. He helped poor and the sick people from South America," said Claude Edeline, the French consul, who lives in Roland Park. "He always had a good relationship with the mayor, governor and Police Department."

In 1990, Rodrigo Borja, a former president of Ecuador, awarded Mr. Jaramillo the National Order of Merit for his service to the Ecuadorean people, especially the sick and poor.

Born in Cuenca, Ecuador, Mr. Jaramillo moved to Baltimore in 1952 to study at Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he received a degree. Skilled in freehand drawing, he was also trained as a commercial artist. Among his clients were A.D. Anderson Chevrolet and the Yellow Pages.

After he bought his home overlooking Wyman Park in 1956, he restored its woodwork, painted murals in its dining room and decorated it with stained-glass windows he had made. Friends recalled visiting his kitchen, where he painted ceramic tiles with a picture of pheasants and other game birds.

He was a member of SS. Philip and James Roman Catholic Church.

In 1947 he married Gladys Sojos, a Johns Hopkins Hospital medical interpreter, who survives him.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church, 30 Melvin Ave. in Catonsville.

He is survived by two sons, Alain Jaramillo of Catonsville and Hugh Jaramillo of Baltimore; a daughter, Carmen Howard of Timonium; and six grandchildren.

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