David Leon Olive, M.D.

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MIDDLETON–David Leon Olive, M.D., passed away on May 22, 2020 at 12:10 am after a 14 year battle with cancer. He passed at his home in Middleton.

He is survived by his wife Elizabeth; their children Zachary, Matthew, Alexander, Taïna, Midlyne and Janelle; their significant others Lindsay, John, Jessica and Michael; his grandchildren Jackson and Machlan; his Brothers Gary and Robert, his Sister Lori, his Nieces and Nephews and Cousins, their significant others and those he invited into his “family”.

He graduated with honors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975, completed his Medical Degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 1979, his Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern School of Medicine in 1983 and his Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Duke University Medical School in 1985. He was granted an honorary master’s degree from Yale University in 1997.

He held Faculty Positions at Duke University, University of Arkansas, University of Texas, Yale University, University of California at Berkeley and University of Wisconsin. He was a beloved teacher, winning teaching excellence awards at Yale University in 1993 and 1998 and a National Faculty Award in 2004.

He won a multitude of awards throughout his career from the Baylor University, Northwestern University, Pacific Coast Fertility Society, Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for his work in both bench-top and clinical research; publishing more than 350 scientific papers in the literature and traveling throughout the world to teach. He was a champion for Evidence-Based Medicine winning the John Collins Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine in 2006. He was an innovator in minimally invasive gynecological surgery, served as president of American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists and was awarded the Distinguished Surgeon Award for the Society for Reproductive Surgeons and American Society for Reproductive Medicine in 2008.

Dave had many outside hobbies, most of them physical. He completed five century bicycle races, ran over 20 marathons, completed an Iron Man Triathlon and a 50 mile Ultramarathon. He took ballroom dance classes for five years and competed in amateur competitions throughout Wisconsin and recently earned his black belt in Taekwondo while on chemotherapy.

Dave and his wife Elizabeth traveled to Haiti in 2005 and met their beautiful daughters Taina and Midlyne in an Orphanage run by Family Health Ministries. The girls were adopted in 2008 at the ages of five and eight, but Elizabeth and Dave continued to travel to Haiti for medical outreach trips and to support the opening of the first IVF center in Haiti. 

After retiring from medicine in 2016, he began coaching high school track and field and was the Head Coach for the pole vaulting team growing them into the largest team in the state of Wisconsin in two years’ time. During his two years as a coach, he read six training manuals and the entire rule book for pole vaulting. He was often seen at track meets teaching the referees about said rules, much to their chagrin.

Dave will be so missed by his family and friends. Dave was a beloved friend and highly respected colleague of many of the members of the noted medical societies who will miss his brilliance and calm insight. In lieu of flowers, any contributions to Family Health Ministries (familyhm.org) would be gratefully appreciated.

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