Marina Jan Krol Hodge
July 7, 1994 – March 9, 2022
Marina was born in Newburgh, New York on the 7th of July 1994 to Rich and Cindy (Vetrano) Krol. As her name predicted, she took to the outdoors avidly from an early age—equally at home on the water with fishing pole in hand, learning the tricks of trapping with her dad, or hunting with her younger brothers, Hunter and Joseph. There was no limit to her love of nature. She camped, climbed, kayaked, hiked, and biked whenever she could seize the chance. Marina was an expert camper and s’mores maker! She was passionate in being with family, building memories and taking photos. Marina persisted in these passions for life.
Her affinity for all creatures great and small was mutual. A great animal lover, furry friends, wild and tame, gravitated toward her for love and doting—most recently her spoiled rescue pup, Sadie.
She had no qualms rolling up her sleeves indoors as well. Inheriting her mother’s tenacious energy, Marina developed a phenomenal work ethic early in life. She appreciated the relationship between grit and gratification. This maturity served her well and she had it beyond her years. It likewise reinforced in her an uncommon realism—always softened by an infectious smile.
Never to be limited or cliché, but always surprising and free, Marina also had a deep passion for the fine artistic things in life. Her understanding of the relationship between food, wine, family, and love—each requiring patience, quality ingredients, and attention to detail—had deep roots in her proud Italian and Polish heritage. Food can be a competition and recipes, state secrets. But no recipes could match her great-grandmother’s or mom’s. Since gardening is where the outdoors meets the kitchen, Marina expectedly excelled with her green thumb in the house, nurturing, growing and reviving plants of all types. Her love of growing things extended to the yard, coaxing flowers and vegetables to transform a lawn into a giant garden.
More than anything, Marina’s love of music charted the course of her personal and professional life. She earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Music History and Horn Performance from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut and, subsequently, a Master of Music in Horn from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance in Kansas City, Missouri. It was through the horn that she met the love of her life, Brett Hodge. He initially won her over five years ago while joining the horn section of the orchestra when performing at Christmas at the Cathedral in Saint Cecilia Cathedral, the place where she would eventually return as an active member. They were married in New York six months ago. Both readers and learners, their many adventures and projects, particularly home improvement, were masterfully planned by Marina, the executive and organizer.
Occasionally joining Brett in the horn section of the Omaha Symphony, Marina also worked as Assistant Personnel Manager for the Symphony, prior to Covid. Her genuine persona and positive presence served her well when working at the St. Paul VI Institute in Omaha. Marina’s capacity for empathy was evident in daily interactions with couples struggling with infertility. Her enterprising spirit was also witnessed in the addition of a medical coding certification to her accolades.
Marina’s professional and personal gifts converged in many ways when she joined the Curia of the Archdiocese of Omaha as Music Coordinator – Administrative Assistant in the Office of Worship in June of 2021. Her deep academic and performative knowledge of music informed weekly liturgical music organization both for Saint Cecilia Cathedral parish and for major Archdiocesan services. Her masterful gift for kind but clear communication, authentic and empathetic, yet unequivocal and effective, surfaced constantly in her interactions with families for wedding and funeral planning. Marina’s pastoral intuition served numerous organizations and individuals needing assistance from the Cathedral’s music ministry. Hers was the invisible but precise hand behind myriad worship aids and communications from the office in the past eight months.
Although she had only recently joined the ArchOmaha and Cathedral families, her impact was outsized. Her ebullient energy made friends quickly and leavened the lives of volunteers, ministers, coworkers, and parishioners. Marina’s thirst for knowledge and spiritual depth was animated by an exceptionally curious mind and carried forward by a genuine, compassionate spirit. She was a renaissance woman and a bright light.
Those who were blessed to know Marina over the past 27 years now see that light more dimly, as she was suddenly taken from this life, en route to work, Wednesday, March 9th. She will be sorely missed but loved even more.
She is survived by her husband, Brett Hodge of Omaha; stepdaughter, Paisley of Omaha; parents, Rich and Cindy (Vetrano) Krol of Newburgh, NY; brothers, Hunter and Joseph Krol, Newburgh, NY; parents-in-law, Randy and Shelley Hodge of St. Louis, MO; brother-in-law, Ryan Hodge of Nashville, TN; grandparents, Anthony and Barbara Vetrano, Jr. of TX; aunt and uncle, Stephen Vetrano and Cristina of TX; uncle, Charles Kelly of VA; aunt and uncle, Edward and Jennifer Vetrano of NY; godmother, Colleen Krol of NY; cousin, Madelyn Krol of NY; aunt, Mary Krol of NY; an extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins; countless friends; fur babies: Sadie, Boomer, Stinky, Peanut, Oreo, and Snickers. She was predeceased by paternal grandparents, Jan and Bronislawa Krol; uncle, Janek Krol; cousin, Mark Krol; aunt, Sophia Gonzalez; aunt, Mia Fusco.
NEW YORK SERVICE: Tuesday, March 15, from 3pm to 7pm at Brooks Funeral Home, 481 Gidney Avenue, Newburgh, NY 12550.
OMAHA MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, March 19, 10:00am at Saint Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N 40th St., Omaha, followed by luncheon at Sons of Italy Hall, 1238 S 10th Street., Omaha.
Memorials may be directed to the family of Marina Krol Hodge in order to establish a music scholarship fund and/or commission a small chamber organ for St. Cecilia Cathedral, or memorials directly made to the Omaha Chamber Music Society (In memory of Marina Krol Hodge) www.omahachambermusic.org.
A livestream of the Funeral Mass on March 19, 2022, 10:00 am CST from Saint Cecilia Cathedral can be viewed live at the YouTube Channel Omahacathedral.