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Stella M Dunning

May 11, 1928 ~ September 7, 2019 (age 91)


Stella Johnson Dunning – (Mom Stella), daughter of Albert and Lottie Ewing, was born May 11, 1928 in Easton, MD.   She departed this life on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at her home with her beloved cousin Thelma Southerland by her side.

Mom Stella received her early education in the public schools of Easton, Maryland and graduated from her beloved Howard High School. While attending Howard High School she became a member of the Undefeated Girls’ Basketball Varsity Squad.  After graduating from high school, she attended Delaware State College but subsequently left college to return to Wilmington to help her family operate the Knotty Pine Restaurant, Wilmington, DE.

Upon her mother’s passing, Stella took over ownership/operations of the Knotty Pine Restaurant where she remained until her retirement in 2014. Throughout her ownership, both Mom Stella and the Knotty Pine Restaurant have received numerous honors, accolades, and awards including receiving the Beacon of Light Award and the coveted State of Delaware Historical Marker in 2014 (

Mom Stella’s first marriage was to the late Rev. Cleveland Johnson and her second marriage was to the late Clifton Dunning.  She was a member of the United Tabernacle of Christ where the late Pastor Brown presided.  Following church service, Mom Stella would always provide plenty of good soul food to hungry parishioners.  During her retirement, Mom Stella continued to provide plenty of love and support to the community, family and her precious great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents Mom Stella was preceded in death by her children:Jonathan, Tyrone and Deborah.  She leaves to cherish her memory: devoted cousin Thelma, children Tobias and Wanda, stepdaughter Rochelle, stepson Morris, grandchildren Tyonne, Jermil, Brandon, Cassare, TyKene, Adriane, LaKeisha and Duron, eleven (11) great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Her Celebration of Life Service will be 11:00 am on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at Ezion-Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, 800 N. Walnut Street, Wilmington, DE 19801, with viewing from 9:00-10:45 am.  Interment on Monday, October 14, 2019, at Chapel Cemetery, Gannon Road & Chapel Road, Easton, Maryland 21601.

Donations may be made in the name of Stella Johnson Dunning to: Swank Center for Memory Care and Geriatric Consultation, 501 W. 14th Street
Gateway Building, 5th Floor, Wilmington, DE 19801 302-320-2620 or online donation

To send flowers to Stella's family, please visit our floral section.


October 12, 2019

9:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Ezion Mount Carmel United Methodist Church
800 N. Walnut Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Celebration of Life Service
October 12, 2019

11:00 AM
Ezion Mount Carmel United Methodist Church
800 N. Walnut Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

October 14, 2019

Chapel Cemetery
Gannon Road & Chapel Road
Easton, MD 21601

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