By: Maria Girlie Pascual
This tribute was posted on the Dignity Memorial website of Chapel Hills Garden West, where his body was interred after he struggled, then died suddenly while at a wedding shower for his good friend Dr Nel Gadrinab and his fiancée, Dr Rose Climaco. Salvy, his wife, was at his side all throughout that weekend, having attended a Philippine Medical Association of Chicago event the night before. Even then, the good doctor was feeling a bit “off” but refused to sit out these social activities with people whose company he enjoyed immensely. His demise was not sudden. Doctors at the North Shore University Hospital worked tirelessly to revive him, as he continued to fight for his life, as the last rites were given to him by Father Pajarillo, even as the family and friends gathered around him continued to hope for a miracle that Saturday night. Alas, come Sunday morning, the good Lord called Hector to join Him in heaven. Here is the tribute that appeared on the aforementioned website:
Dr. Hector Almaria Marino, 71, passed away suddenly on May 6, 2019. Devoted husband to Salvy nee Madrid; loving father to Kristine (Vic) Doydora, Karl (Amy) Marino, Kurt (Jen) Marino, Chris (Maria) Pendon and Jamie (James) Han; and adored grandfather by Christian, Carter, Connor, Alyssa, Zac, Cole and Theo. Hector is also survived by his two sisters Vilma and Rosemarie, brother Pete, and many loving extended family and friends.
Hector was born in Taal, Batangas, Philippines on November 15, 1947. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas, Medical School. Hector relocated to Chicago in 1974 and spent 40 years practicing Family Medicine.
A dedicated and compassionate physician, Hector completed several medical missions in various Philippine provinces. He also served as the President of the Philippine Medical Association and President of the University of SantoTomas Alumni Medical Association.
Hector took great pleasure in traveling the world, fishing, ballroom dancing and spending time with his family.
A special thanks to Dr. Donald Morales and the dedicated medical team at North Shore University Evanston Hospital, Intensive Care Unit.
So now as I write this for Via Times, my thoughts go back to a fun weekend spent with some of the members of the ACHHAI group or Association of Certified Home Health Association in Illinois, at a wonderful humongous home in the beautiful Galena territory of Illinois. Organized by current ACHHAI President Elizabeth Regacho, James and I were invited to join them. This dynamic and happy group consisted of Claro and Sue Buniao, Limuel and Rose Cordero, Brandon and Eden Olarte and Brando Gaccion, Dr Hector and Salvy Marino, Robert and Gemma Maroon, Elbert and Elizabeth Regacho, Joe and Mabel Sacay, Eden Olarte, I and James DC. We did nothing but laugh, eat, sing, swap stories and jokes, went to see a parade and fireworks in downtown Galena and just enjoyed each other’s company that weekend. Although it was our first time to spend a few days with them, we felt like we were welcomed by all of them, including Dr. Marino. He smiled a lot, laughed at everyone else’s jokes and just chilled with the rest of the group. Salvy was also a very cheerful lady, singing a few bars here and there, and all of us felt like one, big, happy family. After that weekend, we were regularly invited to attend other parties with everyone.
This past weekend (May 9-12) was different, sadly different. This time, I had to emcee Dr Marino’s memorial service for two nights, Thursday and Friday, my first time to do so in my hosting career. The first and hardest. This was because I felt a kinship with Salvy and Doc even if we only knew each other a short time, how warm and gracious they treated us whenever we were at the same function. Elizabeth was the one who asked if I would be willing to do so, and like everyone that pitched in to help commemorate Dr. Marino, there was no hesitation on my part, and I felt honored to do it.
The first night, May 9th, was attended by most of the ACCHAI officers and members, and the mass was officiated by Father Rodriguez. The Simbang Gabi Choir of Downer’s Grove performed beautifully at the service, headed by Musical Director Alex Siwa, coordinated by Lilia Pendon and Salvy’s good friend, Nora Tsai. Prayers and Novena were led for two days by Salvy’s sister Josie Madrid and Gigi Del Pilar. Dr Hector’s children and their families were all present, and on the second night, an even bigger crowd came to pay their respects, as the ACCHAI group continued to work tirelessly behind the scenes to take care of the food and sustenance for all who came to pay their last respects. Elizabeth and Mabel, along with Sue, Alma, Gemma, Rose, Eden and Tessie pitched in to make sure there were enough food and drinks, but at the same time, they kept a close watch on Salvy to make sure she was getting sustenance even in her grieving state. Schedules also needed to be coordinated, but thankfully, with everyone’s help the two-day service went smoothly as planned, was dignified, and was indeed befitting a man like Dr. Hector Marino.
On Friday, May 10, there was an early mass led by Father Pajarillo, more prayers and a Novena, a family service led by Deacon Jerry, uncle of the family, eulogies from different good friends and colleagues. Dr. Dionisio Yorro, Dr Rogelio Cave, Dr Nel Gadrinab and Dr Greg Tolentino shared anecdotes and insights on Dr Marino’s life and relationships with them. The PMAC President, Dr Lourdes Floro, and UST Alumni Association President Dr Maurina Galvez joined forces where their choir members came together to perform for the memorial service, led by Dr Zita Yorro. Dr. Marino was the Treasurer of the PMAC Mission group to the Philippines for many years, and like so many of his physician friends and their wives, travelled yearly to help in healing the poor.
Kristine Marino Doydora, Dr. Marino’s eldest daughter, and Kurt Marino,his son who flew in from San Diego, shared some stories and their sadness about their Dad’s demise. After the children said their eulogies, there was not a dry eye in the house. As they cried, we cried along with them.
On the final day, Saturday, the weather was bleak and chilly. The day reflected the mood of the occasion, bidding Dr Marino farewell.Through all these, Salvy tried to keep her tears in check, her grief hidden, her spirit strong, for the sake of their children who were all emotionally shaken and visibly distraught. Pall bearers were his sons Karl, Kurt, and Christopher, grandson Christian and sons-inlaw Victor and James, As the mass progressed, the final eulogies were given by Karl, his eldest son who remembered the “Best Dad anyone could have” and one that he hoped to emulate with his own family, and by Dr. Al Estrada, his cardiologist friend who was there at the party when Dr. Marino collapsed. Dr Estrada was there when they brought Dr. Marino to the hospital, he was there with the family when they came to the Intensive Care Unit, he was there until the end, and he was there to honor him by sharing his memories of fishing and other fond memories of his friend. It was a sad and touching service.
The family hosted a luncheon after the funeral mass service at the Carlisle Banquets in Oakbrook. About 200 people came, and this was the family’s chance to thank everyone for their support of Doc and his kin. All in all, the three days of listening to what his children, his friends, his colleagues, his compatriots said about him was more than enough for me to say that his passing was indeed a great loss to all whose lives he touched in some way or another. They said he was kind, loving, generous, loved to sing, loved to dance, was an avid fisherman, a good physician, a true friend. To his family, he was a wonderful father, a dedicated Dad, a supportive Grandpa, and to Salvy, he would forever be the love of her life.
“Eternal rest grant to him oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him, may his soul Rest in Peace” ##
Dr Hector Marino
Nov 15,1947-May 6, 2019
A life well-lived
Dr Hector and his lovely sweetheart, Salvy
The Marino family with Salvy and Doc with their kids and grandkids
Friends and Collegues with Dr Marino
A great family Man and Father
He never forgot his roots