Suzzon “Suzie” Jackson Zugschwerdt died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Alexandria, Virginia after a long battle due to complications of diabetes.
Suzie was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1941, the youngest daughter of Ernestine Sherman Jackson and Fred Jackson. She was raised by her beloved maternal grandfather, William F. Sherman. She graduated from Grambling State University in Louisiana in 1963 and then left her home state to travel. She eventually settled in Washington, D.C.
In the mid-late sixties, she worked for the Department of Interior and later for the Department of the Army, Civilian Special Services in Busan, South Korea. Towards the end of her assignment in Busan, she was cast in a lead role of a Korean language film, roughly translated as “American Bride.” The film is about a black American woman who marries into a conservative Korean family and struggles to find acceptance in her new culture.
After leaving Korea, Suzie ventured to Los Angeles, CA to continue pursuing an acting career. However, following her first earthquake, she changed her mind, returning to Washington D.C. where she dated and married EEOC (and later DOJ) attorney David W. Zugschwerdt of Kingsport, TN. The couple lived in Southwest, D.C., where they started their family, moving to Alexandria, VA in 1976. Her husband, David, preceded her in death in 1996.
Throughout the 1980s,1990s, and into the 2000s, Suzie was active in her local community: she organized her neighborhood crime watch, hosted block parties and cared for aging neighbors. Her greatest success was spearheading the community fight to save the Burke Branch of the Alexandria Public Library when it was threatened with closure. The library held such fond memories for her as her girls grew up which inspired her to fight to save it for future young families in the city of Alexandria.
As a young mother, Suzie traveled extensively within the United States. Road trips with her girls during summer vacations evolved into solo cross-country adventures after she entered the empty nest stage. She was happiest traveling and meeting new people.
In 2003, Suzie began suffering from complications of brittle diabetes, beginning with macular degeneration and, in more recent years, arteriosclerosis. Despite chronic and progressive health issues, Suzie managed to continue travelling across the United States, spending time in Asheville, NC, visiting friends in Maricopa, AZ, spending winters with her sisters in Monroe, LA and making multiple trips to see her daughters, friends, and relatives in Los Angeles, CA.
Suzie is survived by her daughter Michele Zugschwerdt, her son-in-law, Robert Rivera, and her grandson, Isaac Rivera Zugschwerdt; her daughter, Lisa Zugschwerdt; her grand-dogs, Gypsy and Hannah B.; her brother, Fred LaRoy Jackson of Alexandria, VA; her sister, Margaret Newman of Monroe, LA; her beloved niece, Yolanda Moorhead of Alexandria, VA and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends across the United States and around the world.
In addition to her husband, Suzie was also preceded in death by her sisters, Carolyn Kennedy and Gloriastine Secrease.
Suzie was one-of-a-kind. She loved life. She fiercely loved her friends, family and, of course, her dear pet miniature schnauzers, Jackie and Vickie. Most of all, she loved extending hospitality to everyone she crossed paths with, no matter where they came from. She will be dearly missed by friends and family alike. She did it her way.
The family wishes to express gratitude to all Suzie’s loving caregivers and hospice workers. Her friends will be received at 1405 Juliana Place, Alexandria, Virginia on Sunday June 24, 2018 from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Interment of ashes will be at Richwood Memorial Gardens in Monroe, Louisiana.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to the Sherman/Jackson Scholarship Fund at the University of Louisiana Monroe. (Instructions Below)
Donations may be made to:
The Sherman/Jackson Scholarship Fund was established in memory of William F. Sherman and Suzie O. Jackson. Its purpose is to assist deserving full-time African-American students with a minimum 3.0 GPA pursuing a degree in the ULM School of Sciences.
Scholarship Fund Instructions
If you would like to donate by mail, please contact the ULM Scholarship Office at
If you would like to complete an online donation, please follow the instructions below.
The online process is a cumbersome, but the cause was very meaningful to our mother. So please, bear with it!
Payments accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Instructions for online donations:
Now click the green “Continue” button
Finally, you will be taken to a fifth page to review your order
Now click the green “Submit Order” button
That’s it, you’re done! Thank you.