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Jaime Arbona

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Jaime Arbona, former customs agent for the ports of entry to Baltimore, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Oct. 20 at his Cedarcroft home. He was 88.

Born in Utuado, Puerto Rico, where he attended the University of Puerto Rico, he served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. He was stationed in Honolulu.

He moved to Baltimore in 1945 and studied at the Johns Hopkins University. He taught Spanish at the Berlitz School and in the Baltimore County public schools system. In 1970, he joined the U.S. Custom Service and was stationed in the Customs House in downtown Baltimore.

He inspected ships and their manifests coming into the port of Baltimore. He also inspected cargo at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Family members said he was also called on to do undercover narcotics work. He was assigned work on the Mexico-California border.

He retired in 1982.

Mr. Arbona, who enjoyed opera, Latin music and dancing, attended exhibits at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1966, a book of his poetry, "Songs for the Young," was printed by the Cavanaugh Press. He also wrote a play, "La Mosca," or "The Fly," which was performed by the Gallery Players of Park Slope in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, the former Edith Harryman; two sons, Jaime Arbona of San Francisco and Stevan Arbona of New York City; four daughters, Edith Ramos of Lutherville, Carmen Arbona of San Francisco, Cynthia Mavrophilitos of Baltimore and Barbara Lewis of Columbia; 16 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Services were held Friday.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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