Carole L. Marner

Carole Lucia Marner (Satrina), 83, left us on May 31, 2021.

Carole L. Marner

Born in New York City November 13, 1937 to John and Caroline (Figola) Satrina, Carole lived first in the Bronx and, later, in Fairlawn, NJ until her father went into business in Italy after serving in WWII and brought the family to live in Rome. Carole was forever haunted by the hordes of hungry beggars in the bombed-out city that greeted her when she disembarked with her family in Naples in 1946. While that grim introduction to post-War Italy grounded her sense of justice and responsibility to others, the magical city of Rome, with its ancient streets, history, architecture, and art shaped her sensibility and aspirations. To an eager and intelligent young girl on a bicycle before cars took over the streets, 1950s Rome was a paradise of inspiration and revelation.

Carole was educated at American Overseas School and Marymount in Rome. Graduating from high school at 16, she traveled alone to England to work at a student work camp, picking strawberries for British farmers and then spent a year at the University of Perugia in Italy where she earned an Italian language teaching certificate. She returned to the United States in 1955 to attend college at Mt. Holyoke in Massachusetts. The following year she transferred to Barnard College in New York, at Columbia University. She met her future husband, Eugene (Gene) Marner, while both were involved in a Columbia Players production of T. S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral.” They married in 1959, within days of Carole’s graduation cum laude from Barnard.

Carole was incisively intelligent, imaginative, multi-talented, profoundly adventurous, and the initiator of many projects in life and art. She taught herself how to do everything and was an extraordinary cook, seamstress, and gardener. She was the best person to walk with around any city in the world. Professionally, she was a film-maker in partnership with her husband Gene. Their first film, Phyllis and Terry (1965), a documentary portrait of two African-American girls on the Lower East Side is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Carole was also a screenwriter, a television producer and, with Gene, one of the founders and, for the first ten years of its existence, co-Artistic Director of the Franklin Stage Company. Among Carole’s screenwriting credits were the screenplays for three musical fairy tales for Golan-Globus: Beauty and the Beast, Puss in Boots, and Little Red Riding Hood, and several episodes of George Romero’s TV series, Tales from the Darkside. Carole and Gene collaborated on many documentaries, mostly for public television, including a lauded 1995 Independent Television Service (ITVS) 6-part series conceived of and produced by Carole, Listening at the Luncheonette.

The creation of the Franklin Stage Company, the admission-free professional theatre in Franklin, NY, was Carole’s idea in 1996, and, for ten years, she wrote grant applications, supervised renovations, designed costumes and helped infuse the theatre with the purpose and idealism that marked her time with the company and her presence in the world. Deeply outraged by the world’s injustice and cruelty, Carole was always ready to fight for fairness, justice, and human dignity. She marched and demonstrated in opposition to the Iraq War and for bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. She organized months of weekly memorials outside the Oneonta military recruitment offices, reading the names of the hundreds of young Americans killed in action. She fought fiercely against fracking in New York State and was one of the instigators of Stop the Pipeline, the organization which came together to resist (successfully!) the so-called Constitution Pipeline.

Carole is survived by her husband, Eugene Marner, of Franklin; by their daughter, Carmela Marner, grandson Felix Bridel, and son-in-law Matt Munisteri, of Kingston; by her sister, Pamela Sorrentino, of Sutri, Italy; by nephew Manfredi Sorrentino of London, U.K.; and by her cousin Christina Clarke of Windsor, Ontario. The family extend their deepest gratitude to the staff of Delhi Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for their extraordinary care during the difficult final days and for their unfailing kindness throughout the demanding year of Covid-19.

A memorial gathering later this summer in Franklin will be announced in the near future. Memorial donations in her name may be made to Médecins sans frontières (msf.org).