Bryant “BB” Nolden was born on May 31, 1965 in Flint, Michigan to Mr. Willie “SOKITA” Nolden Jr. and Mrs. Judith “Chick” Jones-Nolden. He graduated from Flint Central in 1983 and went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Central State University.
He returned to Flint to serve his community as an Elementary Teacher for 25 years. After retiring from the Flint Community Schools, he furthered his education by getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Michigan where he graduated in 2013.
After encouragement from his father and the support of his mother, family, and friends “BB” successfully ran for 3rd Ward City Council becoming a member in 2009 and serving thorough 2014 where he also served as Vice President for two years. After serving on council for five years BB ran for County Commissioner and began serving the fall of 2014 until his death on December 7, 2022.
In 2013, he seized upon the opportunity to service the community further by becoming the volunteer director of Berston Field House. Mayor Dayne Walling gave BB the keys to the building and he went to work. BB swept and mopped the floors, mowed the lawn, and plowed the snow, doing whatever it took to keep the facility open and accessible to the community. Beginning in the fall of 2014, he formed the Friends of Berston with the goal of making it the best community center in the State!
It was there he met the love of his life and his wife, Jacqueline Hopkson Nolden.
They were married in Ohio on March 29, 2022.
BB served on the following boards. The Flint Institute of Arts, The Genesee County Land Bank, GST Michigan Works, Current Chair of Mass Transportation Authority (MTA), Genesee County Board of Commissioners, GCCARD, Flint and Genesee Group (Chamber of Commerce), Genesee County Health Board, Investment Committee for Ruth Mott Foundation, and Genesee County Animal Control. Bryant served as the Past Potentate of the Oman Temple No. 72 Shriners along with being a 33rd Degree Mason of the Eureka Lodge No. 16 PHA and Basileus of Omicron Rho Chapter Flint, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
BB leaves to cherish his memory, wife, Jacqueline H. Nolden; daughters, Nikia Nicole Conner, Lauren Edmonds, Alexis Edmonds and Tiffany Pyland; grandchildren, Lynia and Lyndale Thomas; mother, Judith A. Nolden; brothers Anthony Cobbin, Corey W. Nolden, special brother Chris Crain and adopted sons Samuel Dupree and Jamar McKenzie. He also leaves behind dozens of relatives and friends all across the United States including most of the City of Flint.
The family is requesting donations to the Friends of Berston in the name of Bryant “BB” Nolden.
The family would also like to express its heart felt appreciation for the outpouring of love from the Flint Community, the State of Michigan, and entire country at the loss of our loved one.
Please continue to keep us in prayer as we mourn the loss of our loved one.
On a more personal note, I met Bryant many years ago when I worked at ABC12. Fittingly, it was AT Berston Field House where the Channel 12 No-Stars were to play a benefit basketball game.
My first mistake was calling him, Bryant. He greeted me like a long-lost friend. Also, fittingly, the first words he said to me were: “My friends call me, BB. Call me BB.” Soon enough I understood. Everyone was BB’s friend!
In the course of that first conversation BB said something to me that has stuck for these many years. “Do a little, gain a lot.” It means one thing at a time. Be patient. It is how you build your dreams. How you build your legacy.
And what a legacy BB built!
Each of us doing a little. If enough of us do a little, a lot gets done. We gain a lot.
That’s what BB did his entire life.
It is sad that BB has passed at the moment of, perhaps, his greatest triumph. The multi-million dollar restoration of a bigger, better, modern Berston Fieldhouse. But he got it done.
Perhaps it was meant to be his final, great contribution to his beloved Berston.
Well done good and faithful servant! Well done!