Mary F. Dunson

August 8, 1937February 11, 2021
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Mary Frances Lewis Dunson was born in Clearwater, Florida on August 8,1937 to Arthur and Dessie Mae (Washington) Lewis. Unfortunately, her mother passed away when she was 3 years old and her grandmother, Frances Lewis helped raise her and her younger siblings for several years. Her family later moved to Washington DC and her father remarried Della Hamilton. "Ma Della" as she was affectionately known was instrumental in her youth and young adulthood.

Mary accepted Christ at a young age and her family was actively involved with First Seventh Day Adventist Church in Washington, DC. At church, she served in the Youth Ministry and later sang in the Sanctuary Choir.

She attended elementary school at First Seventh Day Adventist Academy and later graduated from Margaret Washington High School in 1955. While in High School, she was active on the Debate Team. During her Junior Year, she was the only African American Student to receive the esteemed "Oratorical Award" at the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce. Mary attended DC Teachers College from 1955-1957. She received an Associate Degree in Nursing and worked as an LPN at Prince Georges Hospital in Prince Georges, Maryland from 1957-1959.

In June 1959, she married Robert Edward Dunson and moved to Chicago, Illinois. After moving to Chicago, she continued her nursing career as an LPN at Englewood Hospital. She later attended Olive Harvey Junior College in Chicago and obtained her certification in Social Work. She transitioned to a career as a Social Worker and was employed by the Cook County Department of Public Aid from 1961-1982. While there, she was actively involved with New Employee Training, Employee Relations and Nursing Home Services. She enjoyed her work in helping others. She received numerous commendations for her work and was promoted to Senior Caseworker.

As a devoted Mother and Wife, she was actively involved in all aspects of her family life. She and Bob traveled together and shared many wonderful occasions with family and friends. She was always encouraging her daughters to achieve success in their chosen careers while being well rounded in their personal interests. Hence, she was the amazing Swim Team Mom, Ballet and Dance class chauffer, Piano coach, Travel agent and Debutante Ball Coordinator. She was an active member of the PTA and was a founding member of the Corliss HS Science Department Parents Organization. She was passionate about children and became "Mama Dunson" to many others whom she adored and cared for as her own.

In 1987, Mary retired to Orlando, Florida. She became an active member at Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. With her experience in Senior Care services, she worked with Orlando Mayor Hood and her mayoral team, to assist and support Senior Ministry Services at many churches in Orlando, Florida. She actively chaired the Senior Ministry service at her home church at Mount Pleasant MB Church. She served in other community leadership activities including founding a Neighborhood Block Club Association.

In 1997, Mary and Bob moved to Lawrenceville, Georgia and then relocated to Milton, Georgia in 2015. They were members of St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. They were actively involved with their Daughters and Grandsons. Mary cherished her beloved grandsons and was a dedicated Grandmother. She imparted great wisdom and love to them and leaves an amazing legacy.

Mary is survived by her wonderful Husband of 62 years, Robert Dunson; her 2 daughters, Shelley Monique Dunson (Allen) and Robin Denise Dunson; her son in law, Dwight Franklin Allen and her 3 grandsons, Alexander Keith Benton, Dwight Franklin Allen II and Nicholas Christian Allen; her step granddaughters McCall Allen and Morgan Allen; her sisters, Elizabeth Hundley and Alberta Loftis; her brother, Nathaniel (Geraldine) Lewis; her Goddaughter, Kayla Chavis and a host of nephews, cousins, and friends.

The Visitation will be on Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 6p. – 8p. at Roswell Funeral Home in Roswell, Georgia. A small family in-person funeral is scheduled for Friday, February 26, 2021 at 1p. at Roswell Funeral Home, however space is limited. For all those who would like to attend, the family has asked that you RSVP at


  • Visitation

    Thursday, February 25, 2021

  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, February 26, 2021


Mary F. Dunson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Don Rowe

February 27, 2021

An Angel is in heaven . Shelly , I would just smile and stay grateful that she is in a place that we all would like to be when this is all over . God has never made a mistake and none was made with your mom either . Sure she will be missed but we need know she is now doing better than us all . God is Amazing.

Don Rowe and Family

Floretha (Hawkins) Johnson

February 27, 2021

Bob, Shelley, Robin,
I will always remember how gracious Mary and Bob were when we came to Chicago to attend the Helena Friends Club Dances. I will always remember my first introduction to cruising, when we cruised with Mary for her family’s family reunion.
I will always remember Mary for her graciousness and calm serenity.
I know it’s hard right now, but you all have some beautiful memories I pray that they will help you through this.
Love always,
Floretha Hawkins Johnson

Richard Harris

February 26, 2021

Mary was a classy lady, and she loved and lived life well. Even though earth lost a diamond, heaven gained an angel.

Tammie Bender

February 26, 2021

Shelley, Robin, and family,
The Benders would like to extend their heartfelt condolences to you on the loss of your beautiful mother. May God comfort you and your family. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

With Love,
Tammie Bender

Dawn Cox (Hawkins)

February 26, 2021

To my cousins, you have my utmost sympathy on the loss of a beautiful woman. You all are in my prayers and I send love and hugs to you. May God comfort you during this time, and always.

Much love,

Ida Hixon-Brown

February 26, 2021

Such sad news to find out about Mrs. Dunson. I have so many wonderful memories of the two of us laughing together during the planning of Robin’s wedding and Shelley’s wedding. She was so easy to talk to about anything. I will miss her beautiful smile and warm personality.


Kelly Harris

February 26, 2021

Cousin Mary was funny at times. I spent the night at their house when I was about 7 I think.

Robin and I were up watching Saturday night tv. I told Robin to change the change the channel because there was an adult soap opera coming on that I wanted to see called Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

Cousin Mary came flying in the room and in that high pitch voice yelled, "No ma'am you are not watching that over here. Lord to peak!! Does your mom let you watch that at home?"

I replied yes, and she said well you are not watching it here. She turned the channel and said if either of you change the channel it will be lights out, Lord to Peak!!"

Tressa Paul

February 26, 2021

Mrs. Dunson we miss you so much. Your love and wisdom are like no other. We are sending our prayers to Mr. Dunson, Shelley, Robin and the entire family. We love you all ❤️❤️. God Bless.

Tan Johnson

February 26, 2021

My sincere condolences to Shelly, Robin, and the Dunson family.

I will always remember the Christmas my brother and I spent at the Dunson's home, and your mom had prepared a fabulous seafood dinner. After dinner, we all gathered around the piano and sang Christmas carols. We had a GREAT time!

Tan Johnson

Lenita SimsSpears

February 26, 2021

As is the case with all who knew her, my heart is broken at the loss of Mrs. ‘Mama’ Dunson. I know that our loss is heaven’s gain. I pray strength and comfort for the family.





Shelley & Mom


Mattie B Wrenn & Mary


The Siblings- Dorothy, Liz, Buddy (Gerry), & Mary (Bob)


The Burns


Mary, Bob, Shelley & Robin


Nanie, Papa, Alex & D.A.


Her girls- Shelley, Robin, Jessica, Stephanie & Sharalyn


Jesse Burns, Mary, Bob