Honoring the Life by Telling the Story

Patricia Risser

July 10, 1950 - July 29, 2020
Milwaukee, WI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

American Civil Liberties Union
207 E. Buffalo Street Unit 305
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 272-4032
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Life Story / Obituary


Patricia Zeeh Risser

Patricia Risser (nee) Zeeh was born to eternal life on July 29, 2020 at St. Johns on the Lake in Milwaukee, WI, aged 70. The daughter of the late Lenor B. Zeeh and Catherine Zeeh, she was born July 10, 1950 in Madison, WI. She was the younger sister of Peter Zeeh of Madison, WI, who preceded her in death. Pat leaves behind her beloved husband Leon and cherished children Michael and Emily. She is further survived by other relatives and many, many dear friends and colleagues.

Patricia earned her undergraduate degree from UW Madison, after which she taught high school as a substitute teacher. After courageously battling a prolonged illness early in life, she returned to UW Madison to earn her law degree and then practiced family law in Milwaukee at Coyle & Risser, a firm she helped found. Although she practiced successfully as a family law attorney for many years, she eventually found her true calling with Legal Action of Wisconsin. There, she was able to provide legal assistance free of charge to low-income people by training fellow attorneys to provide pro bono services to Wisconsin’s most underserved individuals. Her work with Legal Action on the volunteer lawyer project earned her the Lawyer of the Year Award, of which she and her family were immensely proud. In addition to her professional career, she donated her time and talents to her community by serving on the board of directors for Capitol West Academy, a charter school in Milwaukee. Throughout her life, she embodied the spirit of giving in all that she did, making her adopted city of Milwaukee a better place through her advocacy, service and financial generosity. Privately, Pat thoroughly enjoyed the company of her family and friends, knitting, chocolate tasting, traveling, community events, volunteering and exploring restaurants all over her adopted city. Those who were in her presence knew her unmatched strength and genuine, giving, down-to-earth spirit.

In lieu of a funeral, the family will host a celebration of her life next summer.

In honor of Pat’s incredible service, memorial donations can be made in her name to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which continues to fight for equality and social justice issues while amplifying the voices of the underserved, just as Pat did over the course of her remarkable life.