Susan Jackson Learned


Susan Jackson Learned died far too young on December 18, 2021 after fighting an aggressive form of cancer for eight months. She was 45. 

She was born January 30, 1976 at Fort Hood, Texas, where her father served in the Army. She grew up on military bases in Germany and Kentucky before her family settled in Indianapolis following a transfer to Fort Benjamin Harrison.

Susan, or Susie as her mom and friends called her, graduated in 1994 from Lawrence North High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from DePauw University in 1998 and began her career in Chicago, working for Charles Schwab. Susan returned to Indianapolis a few years later after her mother, Elizabeth (Betty) Harris Jackson, was diagnosed with cancer. She helped her mom with her wedding planning business until Betty’s death in 2001. 

Looking for a chance to help people, Susan landed a job at Midtown Community Mental Health Center. There she met her husband, coworker Eric Learned. The couple married in 2008. They shared a love for travel, entertaining and spending time with friends. In the last several years Eric and Susan traveled to Croatia, India, Vietnam, Iceland, and other places, with their friends. All told, Susan traveled to 42 countries and had hoped to reach 50 by age 50.

 At work, she traveled the United States doing project management for state government programs. She was promoted to vice president for the management consulting firm Public Knowledge. Outside work, her passions included her dogs, restoring old houses and entertaining friends. Susan faithfully carried on the tradition of a New Year’s Day open house started by her mom.

 Susan also doted on the kids in in her life. They include her nephew Yuki, her goddaughter Lucy, and the children of her friends, for whom she was a favorite “aunt”. Susan never forgot birthday gifts or Christmas presents and was continuously involved in the kids’ lives. She always listened to them – and remembered – their answers. 

She is survived by her husband of 13 years; her father, retired Lt. Col. Thomas Hamilton Jackson of Ecuador; an aunt and uncle, Mary Alice and Joe Brock of Collierville, Tennessee; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Hitch and Sandy Learned of Indianapolis; sister-in-law Marje Learned Matsuda (Michi) of Redwood City, California. She is also survived by a close-knit tribe of heartbroken friends who will remember her laughter, kindness, and generosity, including countless hours spent helping friends organize their closets.  

Please consider making donations in Susan’s honor to one of the following causes:

 FACE Low-Cost Animal Clinic 1505 Massachusetts Ave Indianapolis, IN 46201

 Or… The Bridge Fund in Memory of Susan Jackson Learned, LNHS ‘94

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