John Douglas Wrasse was born August 6, 1967, in Lincoln, Nebraska. As soon as he got his first bicycle, John was out riding on Lincoln’s extensive trails system. During high school and college he was a proud employee of Cycle Works bike shop in Lincoln. He pursued cycling with a passion until the very hour of his death. John passed suddenly from unknown heart disease on February 13, 2021.
John moved to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1991 and began a career working at Indiana University. He started in the IU Bookstore, then moved to the History department, where he met his future wife Lisa. John then worked for the MBA program and the College of Arts and Sciences Recorder’s office, while simultaneously pursuing a second Bachelors degree in Chemistry and completing course work to apply to medical school. John continued his love of cycling, working part-time for the Bloomington Bicycle Garage and riding in the Hilly Hundred and with the Bloomington Bicycle Club. John’s broad ready smile, quick wit, high energy, and work ethic made a lasting impression in every role he held.
John and Lisa were married at St. Charles in Bloomington in 2000 and went on to have two daughters, Anna and Lucy. John was a much beloved and devoted father and husband. The family loved walking their dogs, cycling, and traveling together. John also took great glee in chasing squirrels out of his bird feeders, relished making his morning coffee, and loved telling dad jokes. He had a great appreciation for music, from Led Zeppelin to Anna Wrasse, and he was learning to play guitar. John possessed a relentless desire to make the world a better place and loved keeping up with news, listening to National Public Radio and reading the morning paper. He loved nature and had a particular fondness for the Rocky Mountains. His zest for life and concern for others was unparalleled.
At age 35 John became a first year med student on the IU School of Medicine Bloomington campus. John was a non-traditional student, being a good deal older than his classmates. He later said his years of life experience, the persuasion skills learned in Advertising, and the fine motor skills he honed as a bike mechanic helped him greatly in his work as a physician. John graduated from the IU School of Medicine in 2005 where he was awarded an Indiana Primary Care Scholarship. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital where, in 2007, he was awarded the Sarah K. Riesz Award in recognition of quality medical care and establishing a caring relationship between the physician and the child’s family.
In 2008 John returned to Bloomington and began his Pediatrics practice with Southern Indiana Pediatrics (now Riley – IU Health) where he had done clinical rotations as a medical student. John first worked in the Bedford clinic, where he learned much from his mentor Dr. George Sorrells. John then moved to the Arlington Road clinic in Bloomington upon its opening. In 2012 John began teaching clinical pediatrics to students in the IU School of Medicine, and in 2017 he was promoted to Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics. John loved working with students and treasured the opportunity to pass on what he had learned. In 2020 John was awarded an IU Health Values in Action award. In 2021 he was awarded a Faculty Teaching Award by the IU School of Medicine. Throughout John’s career he was a tireless resource for his patients and strove to help them achieve health in every way. He had boundless energy, patience and compassion for the children he served.