“The Olney family donation in memory of Dr. Harold and Lucie Olney is very special to us since it represents a part of the local history of the medical care provided by them in the Centreville community and surrounding area,” said Karen Ganger, Director of Nursing, adding “The Glen Oaks students, faculty and staff of the Nursing and Medical Assistant programs are appreciative of Dr. Harold and Lucie Olney’s contribution. We are proud to have a small part of the legacy and we will strive to continue the quality standards of medical and nursing practice care that they have demonstrated.”
Harold Elon Olney, MD, and his family have held a long tradition of medical care in St. Joseph County. Harold Elon Olney was born in the county in 1888. He graduated from Mendon High School, class of 1906, and graduated from the University of Illinois’ Rush Medical School in 1916. He completed his internship at Passavant Memorial Hospital in Chicago, now a part of the Northwestern University Medical Complex. It was there that he met his future wife, Lucie Victoria Schivadecker, RN. He was accepted to a surgery residency at the new Mayo Clinic, but he surrendered that opportunity as he had a family to support and Mayo paid only room and board.
Harold and Lucie returned to Michigan in 1917 and began a general medicine practice in Centreville and Kalamazoo. They eventually moved to Detroit where he was on the staff of several hospitals and was Chief of Surgery at Harper Hospital in Detroit. In 1945, Dr. Olney “retired” back to St. Joseph County and soon had another busy, full time family medical practice. His influence and support assured the careers in medicine of his brother, nephew, and granddaughter, all physicians. His great niece earned a Registered Nurse degree from Glen Oaks Community College.
Dr. Olney died in his office, reading an x-ray, on a Saturday morning in 1965, six months after the death of his wife. He had practiced medicine for almost 50 years and was loved by all those who knew him, said the family.