CH Loses Renowned Scientist Don B. Olsen

CH Loses Renowned Scientist Don B. Olsen
Posted on 09/03/2018

Dr. Don B. Olsen, a key member of the team that developed and implanted the world’s first artificial heart, passed away Aug. 5 at his Cottonwood Heights home of causes incident to age. He was 88.

Olsen, who was Professor Emeritus in the University of Utah’s departments of biomedical engineering and surgery as well as president of the Utah Artificial Heart Institute, was a veterinarian who implanted early prototypes of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart into animals – mostly calves and sheep – and was instrumental in developing the final design of the device that was implanted into patient Barney Clark in 1982.

“He was a world-renowned authority on the artificial heart, and we were so proud of him,” said his daughter, Debbie Richards. “But to us, he was just our dad, and we didn’t realize the impact he had on other lives in the world.”

Olsen is survived by his wife, Joyce, five children, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Aug. 11 at the LDS Wasatch 5th Ward Chapel, 8100 S. Top of the World Drive, with internment at Mountain View Memorial Estates.