Sherry "Sher" Lee Joseph

- April 10, 2024

Sher walked on April 10, 2024 shortly after the total solar eclipse.

Her journey began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 24, 1946; daughter of Stanley and Ruth Joseph. 

Sher truly loved and greatly missed the love of her life and companion of 25 years, Peter "Pete" Larsen, as well as her many furry, beloved and spoiled doggies who walked on ahead of her. Several who are resting peacefully at Riverview Cemetery (Tarzan, Gabe, Amelia) anxiously awaiting her arrival.

Sher will be missed and forever loved by her younger brother, David Joseph (Jejuna) from Pennsylvania, her nephew, Michael Joseph from California, in addition to countless true and treasured friends! Many who included insightful input for this obituary (thanks Art, Todd, Lori, Dave).

Sher was a very intelligent woman, graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls at 16 years old. She attended Temple University and graduated from George Washington University at the age of twenty majoring in liberal arts and social work.

While in Washington D.C., Sher worked in customer service at Saville Bookstore leading to her co-founding and co-managing Second Story Books selling used and rare books.

During her time in D.C., Sher had the freedom to participate in many worthwhile causes which included being arrested for protesting the Vietnam War during the March on Washington. She also participated in the democratic convention In Chicago.

Sher made Charlottesville, Virginia her home for over 50 years (Sugar Hollow and Ivy areas). She loved the mountain views and being near the ocean.

Sher brought her love of books to Charlottesville where she co-founded and co-managed the Heartwood Bookstore where she enjoyed sharing her love of reading with customers for many years. The Heartwood Bookstore was one of the best academic, used, rare and out-of-print bookstores in the country and the oldest bookstore in Charlottesville.

Sher had many pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, parakeets, ducks, chickens and a donkey.

Sher's fondness and love for dogs led her to begin her own business, Tarzan’s Jungle, which was a dog walking and dog boarding business. She loved her canine friends and cherished her time spent with each and every one of them. She had many repeat canine customers and overnight canine guests for weekend visits and weeklong stays. She sang their names and loved them like her own. She often left insightful detailed notes for their owners. It was only due to her failing health and physical inabilities after her last surgery in 2022 that she unfortunately and reluctantly had to close the door to Tarzan’s Jungle.

Sher loved nature and all living things (family, friends, neighbors, pets, animals, birds, insects, plants, trees, the entire universe), Sher especially loved birds and their songs! One of her favorite websites was (thanks Jane). She also enjoyed watching live web cams (eagles, zoo animals, wildlife, baby birds nesting just to name a few).

Sher was a very peaceful and spiritual woman who believed strongly in decency and the rights of all humans and animals. Sher held true to her core beliefs throughout life and remained a hippie at heart. Sher advocated for the compassionate medicinal use of marijuana.

Sher was a person of understanding and faith to the point that one without the other couldn't allow her truth to shine. She understood her faith through acknowledging the beauty of her creator’s manifestations. She saw divinity in the animals, trees, and flowers and sought her understanding there.

Sher’s enthusiasm for music was unbounded. In addition to Pete’s wonderful music (he was an excellent musician and composer; Sher still had all of his cassettes), she enjoyed The Band, Grateful Dead, the Steve Miller Band and especially the local bands (many who supported Pete during his four-year battle with lymphoma).

However, the music Sher loved the most came from nature. She was thrilled to hear bird songs; a day filled with birds was a good day. Sher had her own beautiful singsong voice and would also sing-talk to all things (including grocery store items & her jeep :-)

Sher enjoyed watching NFL football and cheering on her lifelong favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sher thrived to support local businesses and enjoyed frequenting local restaurants including Duner’s (enjoyed the background music), Vivace’s, Restoration Restaurant, the Mill Room and Bonefish Grill. It was important to her to always tip well (and pay those who helped her well) in true, honest appreciation and encouraged others to do the same.

After a brief stay at The Colonnades and a mini vacay at the Boar’s Head Inn, Sher spent the last year of her life living in a beautiful log cabin in the Ivy area just above the Mechums River (amazing view). Farm animals, mature trees, beautiful plants, birds, snakes and wildlife surrounded her! Feeding apples to the adorable pigs and hearing their cute squeaks was one of the highlights of her day! She looked forward to meeting the new piglets, visiting the ocean and of course always having a window open so she could hear the birds.

Sher’s health was steadily declining. Unfortunately, she had much physical pain and endured many surgeries. She mostly hid the pain and survived with dignity, class and strength. Her health struggles were complicated by two major accidents where she was traumatically and critically injured by a drunk driver while riding her bike. Unfortunately, her body was unable to endure any further treatment. We are thankful she is no longer suffering and has joined Pete and her furry companions once again.

Sher's friends cherished her vibrant sense of humor. Even when burdened, she always found a way to make you laugh.

There will be a graveside memorial service at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19th at Riverview at Cemetery in Charlottesville, Virginia. All are welcome to join in celebration of Sher’s life. Feel free to attend dressed casual and comfortable!

May the circle be unbroken.

Be sure to enjoy the sunshine, the rain and beautiful sunsets. Appreciate the wonders of the universe!

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to an animal rescue, shelter or hospital of your choice (Sher often talked about the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center and their amazing work with animals).

Arrangements are entrusted to Preddy Funeral Home in Gordonsville, Virginia.

An online guestbook will be available at