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Robert Olson

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Robert Olson Obituary
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Robert Melvin Olson, loving and beloved husband and father went to be with the Lord on Saturday, Nov 9 2013. He was born on Mar 21, 1931 in Jamestown, N.Y to Rachel Roberts and Melvin Olson. He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Diane, and his children, Lorraine Verstegen, Dr. David Olson, Christine Cloyd, Jacqueline Jabs and Daniel Olson, as well as nine grandchildren and a new great grandbaby. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio, where he met his wife. He earned his M. D. from the University of Rochester in New York in 1957. After internship and residency, he entered the Air Force in 1960 and served as a research scientist in Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, retiring in 1983. He earned a PhD in Medical Physics from Berkeley University. Dr. Olson became an internationally recognized expert in his field in areas of great concern to the Air Force. He did pioneering work in the measurement of blood flow in large vessels and in the heart with ultrasound, important for pilot safety. His innovative techniques using a probe in the esophagus are now widely used in medicine. His children knew "Daddy studied bubbles in the blood." He was an expert in the field of decompression sickness and acceleration forces faced by pilots. Oxygen delivery systems he developed were adopted by the Air Force. One of his research accomplishments was the first use in man of a sophisticated technique for measurement of blood flow in small vessels (down to 3 mm) and the mathematical solutions to aspects of the related problems that "had plagued scientists for years." In 1972 he received the Air Force Scientific Achievement Award, one of several awards he earned throughout his career. He reviewed articles submitted for publication to the National Institute of Health. His Air Force file contains such entries as "Colonel Olson is frequently sought out by both military and civilian agencies as a consultant on highly specialized medical instrumentation." He served in Vietnam '69-'70 as Chairman of the Department of General Therapy at the hospital in Cam Ranh Bay. In spite of all his accomplishments, he was a very humble man, kind, lovable, and devoted to his family above all else. He will be sorely missed by all.
Visitation will be held Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 5PM to 7PM at Sunset Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX 78218. Funeral services officiated by Pastor Carlos Cloyd will be at the Sunset Funeral Chapel on Friday, Dec 6, 2013, at 12:00pm with interment to follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be made to Feed the Children, Compassion, or HOPE, his daughter Chris's non-profit charity. Condolences may be offered at www.sunsetfuneralhomesa.com.


Published in Express-News on Dec. 1, 2013
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