A Life Filled with Passion and Talent and Family and Friends
Carlos Alfonso Jarava – a long-time resident of Columbia in Howard County – died on February 10, 2022, at the age of 59, of complications from pancreatic cancer.
Carlos was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, South America, on December 2, 1962. He started his varied creative career as an advertising designer in the newspaper and magazine industry in Columbia, Maryland. For 12 years, from 1987 to 1999, he held several management positions, including Assistant Art Director and Director of Marketing and Communications at Patuxent Publishing Company, publisher of the Columbia Flier newspaper and Howard magazine.
With a desire to serve the large and growing Hispanic population in the United States, to leverage his native Spanish language ability, and to expand his knowledge of targeted market research, Carlos left Patuxent Publishing Company in 1999 to join The Arbitron Company, an international market research organization. He spent the next 19 years refining his skills in media market research in both the U.S. and Mexico.
During his years at Arbitron, Carlos was assigned to a five-year project in Mexico, traveling to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. This allowed him the opportunity to enhance his passion for art and design, especially the art form from Oaxaca, Mexico, called Alebrijes – whimsical wood carvings painted with intense colors and intricate patterns that depict animals, people, objects and imaginary creatures. Carlos began collecting these animalitos during every trip and they are proudly displayed in Carlos’s and Patty’s home.
In 2013 Arbitron was acquired by Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data, and analytics. As a result of the acquisition, Carlos was able to expand his media measurement expertise to include TV and digital media.
After leaving Nielsen in 2018, Carlos began his new career as an independent qualitative market research consultant working with the general U.S. population as well as the Hispanic population in the U.S. His most recent consulting projects included healthcare research, user experience, and advertising concept testing.
Outside of work, Carlos’s passions were even more varied and intense. From dancing to art to cooking to music to travel to family, Carlos pored himself into each of these with gusto and humor and pure love and enjoyment.
His continuing passion for self-expression took him to yet another form of art: painting. He began his new love of painting with a beautiful sunset at the beach, then a flamenco dance couple, a gallery of white calla lilies from Mexico, plantain leaves, followed by an animated painting of Tobias, his four-legged furry friend. After becoming professionally independent in 2018, his newest artistic interest was to paint miniature rocks. With these small wonders of nature, Carlos was able to express his creativity by combining his unique flair for color and design. His goal was to paint a few as Christmas gifts for family and friends. A lasting mini memorial from his full heart.
And then there was dancing! His love of dancing began when he was 21. He joined Arthur Murray Dance Studio where he became a competitive hobby dancer and instructor for students wanting to learn popular dances like the waltz, cha-cha, foxtrot, Argentine tango, rumba, and quickstep, to name a few.
Working at Arthur Murray and then for Fred Astaire Studio helped Carlos pay for his education at Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. But his passion for dancing didn’t stop there. Carlos also belonged to the Colombian Club of Baltimore as president, with a mission to promote the Colombian culture in Baltimore and to give others the opportunity to learn about his beloved country and its people.
He couldn’t find a better way of capturing the color and culture of his native country and its different regions than by organizing a Colombian dance group with members of the club who either had some knowledge of or were willing to learn the authentic dances of Colombia – Cumbia, Porro, Bambuco, Mapale and Bullerengue, and others.
Carlos’s wish for this enthusiastic dance group came about with his usual passion and dedication, and they actively performed for audiences for four years. And before he turned 29, Carlos made another wish come true: he brought his students to perform at an international dance competition in Sevilla, Spain.
When Carlos and Patty got married, they started a new tradition of celebrating every holiday and family birthday together. Every celebration always included immediate and extended family as well. He was always excited about preparing different culinary styles and ingredients to make an unforgettable experience, not only with fabulous food but with its composition and display and colorful table setting.
As he transitioned from one Colombia to another Columbia as a teenager, among all the interests, talents, and passions Carlos expressed so joyfully in his full life, probably the most intense of these was music. He had a collection of more than 10,000 songs hand-selected and stored on an iPhone sorted by artist, by album or by playlist, as only Carlos could have done.
Carlos is survived by his wife Patricia Elena Jarava; his mother Marqueza María Jarava, his father José Elmer Jarava; sisters Emma María Jarava, Gloria Ines Acosta (Ken); brother Elmer Augusto Jarava; nephews Isaac Gabriel Castro, Ken José Acosta, Miguel Antonio Acosta; niece Libia Marqueza Castro; cherished canine companion, Tobias; plus many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Claudia Mayer Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center (CMTBCRC) by clicking https://howardhospitalfoundation.thankyou4caring.org/page.aspx?pid=298 and selecting CMTBCRC from the Designation/drop down menu and including Tribute Information.
Or write a check to Howard Hospital Foundation, 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD 21044. Checks should include a note with the donation in honor of Carlos Jarava.
To send flowers to Carlos' family, please visit our floral store.