The Sun

Mary Noll



Mary Noll spent her last days surrounded by love and her favorite foods. Despite her 5” 1’ petite stature, her appetite for food and life knew no bounds. She will be remembered for her smile, her kindness, and her recipes. She made the world’s best guacamole. She was a mother to three and a second mother to many more. When her children’s friends stopped by after school, she could somehow whip up an endless supply of nachos. Years later, once her children were fully grown, she would bake birthday cakes and send them in the mail. Her children would delight in savoring and sharing them, and their friends and coworkers would marvel at the taste, and the thoughtfulness.

Mary Garney Noll was born May 30, 1955 in Houston, TX and died August 25, 2022 in Camp Hill, PA. She was a wonder woman who bravely battled cancer for five years. Her strength and smile endured through every surgery and chemo treatment. You could often find her care team sitting with her, sometimes long after their shifts ended, just enjoying her company. Her optimism inspired everyone she met. Her father, John Garney, died in 1965 at the age of 43. Mary was just 10 years old. Her mother, Angie Garney, who died in 2017, raised her five daughters by running a beauty salon out of their home’s screened-in porch they refurbished. Mary’s sisters fondly remember Mary cooking dinner while balancing their youngest sister on her hip. Their door was always open for friends and neighbors. Everyone always had a seat at their dinner table. Mary is survived by her four sisters: Patsy Gilbert, Virginia Harris, Janette Burch, and Karen Guerrero.

Mary led an extraordinary life. She was an assistant at a woman-led oil and gas company, J.S. Abercrombie Mineral

Company in Houston, TX. Later in life, she was a store manager at Mary Eileen’s boutique in Hershey, PA. She was also an assistant Sunday school teacher, a classroom volunteer, and a devoted mother and wife.

Mary met the love of her life New Year’s Eve 1978. William (Bill) Noll was born July 11, 1948 in Baltimore, MD. Mary and Bill were set up on a blind date. Bill met Mary’s family New Year’s Day and ate black-eyed peas with them for dinner (a family tradition the family still keeps). They married the next year. They adored each other. They were madly in love. That love never more evident as when Bill cared for Mary during her cancer battle. Mary began to lose her hair and ease of walking but in her husband’s eyes, she was never more beautiful. When she wasn’t strong enough to walk… Bill literally carried Mary on his back. They were married for 40 years until Bill’s death in 2019. Afterwards, she would dream of him often and write love letters to him. They were best friends. He called her his “angel”. And he was hers.

Mary and Bill’s joys in life were their three children: Eric Noll, Lauryn Hench, and Ashley Noll. Mary spent countless hours driving her daughters to gymnastics practices and meets, and driving her son to perform at magic shows. Mary once climbed a tree to retrieve a dove that had flown away in the middle of the act. She held their hands and kissed their ouchies. She taught them manners, to drive, and the importance of a good skincare routine. But most of all, she loved her family and made sure her family knew they were loved. Mary’s grandson, William (Will) Hench, was named after Bill. Born on July 7th — coincidently and miraculously the same date Bill died two years prior in 2019.

Mary was a lover of Chinese and Mexican food, ranch dressing, buffalo wings, chocolate milkshakes, tiramisu, pecans, nail polish, The movies “Pitch Perfect 2,” “Marry Me,” and “The Proposal,” late night talk shows, and Saturday Night Live. She was a night owl – probably because she loved life and didn’t want to go to bed. Her rules in life were simple … always be kind, educations always comes first, and restaurant leftovers are always taken home.

Mary was a collector of things – mostly because she despised throwing anything away. With pinpoint accuracy, she could still tell you precisely where anything was in the controlled chaos. While it did at times make it impossible to find the lid to a container, it did have its advantages. In the days after her passing, her family was sifting through her years of treasures and was surprised to discover spiral notebooks full of letters written to them. They will cherish the notebooks forever, as well as the advice inside them:

About love: “Love helps overcome obstacles and face challenges.”

About happiness: “Don’t complicate things when it’s really quite simple. Find what it is that makes you happy and you’re set.”

About people: “Take no one for granted. Hope to meet people with different points of view. I love being around people so I can learn. Learning and change helps you grow.”

About life: “You can make the best or worst of it. Hopefully the best. Live a life you’re proud of.”

Mary’s family is so proud of her.

A celebration of Mary Noll’s life will be held on September 24, at Millworks in Harrisburg, PA from 4-8 p.m. It was the last restaurant the family had dinner together. She’d be thrilled to see her friends and family gathered for food, drinks, and of course, tiramisu and pecan pie.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Penn State Health Cancer Research Fund: engage.

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