Cover photo for Arlene Learn's Obituary
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1932 Arlene 2023

Arlene Learn

February 22, 1932 — February 12, 2023

Arlene Learn, 90, passed away peacefully at her Davis home on Feb. 12, 2023.

Arlene was born in State College, PA on Feb. 22, 1932 to Joseph T. and Hannah (Sprankle) Green. While working as a secretary in the Music Department at Penn State, her future sister-in-law introduced her to a young Ph.D student, Elmer Learn, whom she would later marry. Elmer and Arlene celebrated 59 wedding anniversaries together before he passed away in 2015.

After starting their family together in Minnesota, the Learns moved to Davis in 1969. As Elmer grew in his role as Executive Vice Chancellor at UC Davis, Arlene ran the household, supporting  the day-to-day needs of their two children and the social responsibilities around her husband's job. She also found time to volunteer at local school libraries and participate in activities with the University Farm Circle.

As the young family hit the road together on vacation car trips, Arlene discovered a love of travel. Throughout their lives, Arlene and Elmer explored the world together, visiting six of seven continents. Arlene loved exotic locales like Peru and Bali, as well as regular trips to her favorite sandy beach at Kona Village Resort in Hawaii. 

When at home, she and Elmer were avid Aggie supporters and were regularly seen cheering at baseball, softball, basketball and football games. 

Arlene also loved to cook and experiment with recipes from around the world. She relished family holiday gatherings. In fact, many of the family traditions she started and dishes she made  are still integral parts of family celebrations. She was talented at needlework, and lovingly made Hawaiian quilted pillows and hand-knit stockings for every family member. 

Arlene was a kind and loving grandmother and later great-grandmother. She attended countless school performances and hosted summer swim days in the backyard pool. Her smile, laughter, storytelling, and grace are greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by daughters Diane Crossman (Darrel) and Linda Learn; grandchildren Matthew Crossman (Lisa) and Janelle Bloom (Ethan); and great-grandchildren Alison and Emily Crossman and Micah and Kaleigha Bloom.

At her request no public service or memorial will be held. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to Sutter Care at Home and Sutter Hospice.


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