Mary Bridget Noland, 41, of North Little Rock passed away peacefully at her home on September 7, 2021, after a long battle with a debilitating illness.
Bridget, as she was known to her friends, and Mary Bridget when she was in trouble with her momma, was born October 21, 1979, to Rickie and Dianne Bauer in Little Rock. She attended grade school at St. Patrick’s Catholic School and graduated from Mount St. Mary Academy in 1998. After graduation, she went on to the University of Central Arkansas, where she further cemented her love of creative writing. She had many grand adventures in life, taking a last-minute trip around the world to Australia, living in Maine for years, working in various administrative positions, and dedicating her time, energy, and passion to the many causes she held dear to her heart.
It is an understatement to say that Bridget loved many things, but helping others was at the top of her list. She devoted several years of service to ALS in Wonderland Foundation in Little Rock, volunteering her time and being a beacon of light to patients diagnosed with ALS. Bridget was the calm voice on the other end of the line who brought organization and reassurance to many bewildered PALS (People living with ALS) and their families. The founder of ALS in Wonderland said, “Bridget became family immediately upon meeting. A tireless and selfless volunteer, she was my right-hand woman. Never selfish, always loving and kind.”
In December 2015, Bridget met her husband Preston in an unlikely situation, but both would tell you it was love at first sight. They knew immediately that whatever battles were ahead, they wanted to fight them together. Their first “date” and Preston’s “meeting of the parents” was while attending a medical procedure that required her to lie flat for four hours. Realizing that they were each other’s soulmate and that time was precious, Bridget and Preston were married soon after on January 16, 2016. They “did the damn thing” in a private ceremony in the exact same driveway where they first met. Preston described Bridget as the best person he had ever known and that she truly made him want to be the best man he could be for her. “There will never be another who was such a good human,” he said. “Bridget was the example most people could only ever hope to live up to. It was my privilege in life to know her and my greatest honor to be loved by her.”
Bridget enjoyed all things crafty, binging Netflix, reading all of the books, mothering her cats, laughing at the top of her lungs with friends, and to quote her favorite Christmas movie, singing loudly for all to hear. Music was her passion so much so that she had tattoos of lyrics from several songs and one that read, “I hope you sing along and steal a line.”
To those who knew her, even if just briefly, Bridget leaves behind a legacy of love -- not only in what she loved but in how she loved. Bridget felt every emotion to the fullest extent and found joy even in the smallest of things. Her greatest joy was seeing the reaction on the face of someone opening a present she thoughtfully picked out for them. When she gave you a present, or her love, it was truly a priceless gift. The “little ones” were always in awe of an Aunt B present. Her way of loving was a force of nature, and she was bold in proclaiming it. She loved as hard as humanly possible, and she leaves us with a charge to do the same. Now she has fully reached what she gave to so many: limitless, unconditional, and overwhelming love. In God’s care she rests above. In our heart she rests with love.
Bridget was preceded in death by a father she adored, Rickie Bauer; and her grandparents, Joe and Rose Bauer, and Ray and Zelma Kelley. She is survived by her husband of five years, Preston Noland of North Little Rock, Ark.; her mother, Dianne Bauer of Hope, Ark.; her brother Jonathan Bauer and wife Jessica of Nashville, Ark.; her mother-in-law, Pattie Platt of North Little Rock; two nephews, Nathan and Owen; one niece, Nora; and a collection of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who were like family.
Visitation will be on Thursday, September 16, from 6-7:30 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:30 p.m. officiated by Fr. Jack Vu at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St., North Little Rock. Funeral services will be Friday, September 17, at Our Lady of Good Hope Church, 315 S. Walker St., Hope, Ark. Officiated by Fr. Nirmalraj KM, the Divine Mercy Chaplet will be prayed at 3 p.m. and the Funeral Mass will follow at 3:30 p.m.
Arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.
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