Laurie Riss, 60, died on Aug. 4, 2023, in Oregon, Wisconsin, due to complications from cancer. Born Laurie Anne Reisig, on July 31, 1963, in Oak Park, her life was a testament to unwavering optimism and a deep love for music. She earned an undergraduate degree in music at the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in cello from Rice University. While at U of I, she met the love of her life, Terry Riss, and on June 8, 1986, they were married.

Her musical talents were showcased in her involvement with the Madison Symphony Orchestra since 1991 and her bass contributions to the “Ladies Must Swing” Big Band. She also gave back to her community by serving as a board member of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra and was a much loved teacher for numerous music students in the area.

Even in the face of challenges, her spirit remained unbreakable. Her optimism and positivity shone brightly, bringing comfort and inspiration to those around her. Her strength extended to her love for Tai Chi, where she found tranquility and exceptional support with the “Wisconsin Living Tao” group.

Laurie is survived by her husband, Terry; her sons, Bradley and Gregory; her father, Carl; her brothers, Tyler and Tim; and she was preceded in death by her mother, Anne.

Laurie Riss will be remembered for her dedication to music, her community involvement, and her love for her family. Donations in her memory can be made to the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.

A “celebration of life” will be held on Sept. 9 at noon at First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison, WI 53705

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