Donor Spotlight

Dr. Ray Andrew Olsson

TOS is grateful for the memorial contribution given by Sally Olsson in tribute to her husband, Dr. Ray Andrew Olsson.

To get to know more about Dr. Olsson please read on...

A native of California, Ray attended UC-Berkeley, leaving after three years to attend medical school at George Washington University.  Upon graduation he interned at Madigan Army Hospital.  His residency was at the District of Columbia General Hospital.  He was chief resident in 1960.  He then was assigned to the Dept of Cardiorespiratory Diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) where he remained for the rest of his Army career.  That assignment included a three-year tour as head of clinical research at the US Army component, SEATO Laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand.  In his last years at WRAIR he became chief of his department and ultimately Director of the Division of Medicine.

When offered advancement into a senior administrative post, Dr. Olsson opted instead to stay in research, and so left the Army at the rank of Colonel.  He accepted an appointment as Wright Professor of Cardiovascular Research at the University of South Florida.  That professorship was the first permanently established chair in the Florida University System.  His research led to 18 patents. 

In addition to his research, Dr. Olsson became an attending physician at the James Haley Veterans Hospital, responsible for teaching students and house staff as well as for patient care.  His laboratories also trained USF undergraduates.   Twenty-five of those students went on to medical school, a source of great pride to him.  In addition, his laboratory provided 1-2 years of research training for six university cardiologists from Japan, as well as shorter training for scientists and graduate students from other US universities, The Netherlands, Hungary and Australia.

His work on the medicinal chemistry of adenosine receptors brought him to serve as visiting scientist in the Insitut fur Nuklearchemie, one of some 19 research institutes at a large Research Center in Julich, Germany, which extended for ten years.  He also worked for a year as a visiting professor in the University of Virginia Dept. of Chemistry, at the Medical Research Council Vascular Biology Unit, London, and in the Dept of Chemistry at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.

His scientific work resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed research papers as well as review articles and book chapters.  Over his last ten years at USF, he reviewed 50 or more articles per year for journals concerning experimental cardiology, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, the last of which was at age 79.  His one non-scientific publication was the first English translation of the Ramakien, the Thai version of the Hindu Ramayana.

Dr. Olsson was president of the Florida Affiliate of the American Heart Association and was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he served at Senior Warden.  Dr. Olsson’s love of classical music and opera was one of many common interests shared with his wife Sally, a member of TOS’ alto section. 

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mail your payment with a donation form to:
The Tampa Oratorio Singers
P.O. Box 320211
Tampa, FL 33679

Read the frequently asked questions here or contact our Treasurer, Sheryl Hofmann for additional details, at or (727) 710 3712.
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The Tampa Oratorio Singers operates as a non-profit choral arts group and is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, registration #CH40175. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free (800-435-7352) within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state. U.S. Federal Tax ID number is 59-6201219.