Charisse “Sheri” Buchta-Giraldes
May 9, 1957–May 13, 2017
Stockton, Calif., June 25—There was a slight breeze and a brilliant sky on this warm Sunday afternoon as a pack of riders led by Larry Giraldes quietly wound their way through the NorCal delta to pay respects to Larry’s dearly departed wife. The celebration of life would include dancing to the tunes of the Fryed Brothers Band while remembering the truly remarkable experiences of a truly remarkable woman. From family members to motorcycle club members, folks gathered to share memories and swap tales about the captivating life and wild times of their beloved Sheri but it was the incredible, and heart-breaking, story of the star-crossed love affair between Larry and Sheri that had attendees collectively shaking their heads.
Back in the ’70s Sheri and Larry had lived together as lovers but, as young folks often do, moved on to marry other people. Married to Willie Buchta for more than 36 years, Sheri raised three children, had grandchildren and traveled all around the United States with her fabricator husband. She even set a land speed record out on the salt flats back in 2008 on a bike Willie had built for her. As an 11-time world record holder himself, Willie was proud of his wife’s accomplishments. As long as she didn’t beat his records, that is. The level of love, speed and competition between the two was ongoing and entertaining, right up until Willie’s passing in 2011. Afterwards, Sheri spent her time with family and set about making new friends as she started life again as a single gal. And then she ran into her old flame from 43 years ago.
Having lost his beloved wife to cancer, Larry was retired and also trying to make sense of living life alone when he and Sheri found each other again. The pair took back up where they had left off when in their youth. Their rekindled love brought a joy to each of their lives that had been missing since losing their spouses and they wasted no time in learning how to live each day in happiness. They traveled from coast to coast sharing adventures while making up for lost time when Larry proposed to his beloved Sheri. The couple set about making plans to share their joy in a ceremony with friends and loved ones when the unimaginable happened. Sheri was diagnosed with cancer. In a simple civil ceremony at the hospital as she lay in her bed just a few days before her 60th birthday, Larry and Sheri exchanged vows in front of a room full of loved ones as she beamed from behind her floral bouquet. Just five weeks later, Sheri was gone. Larry is once again trying to make sense of being alone after having lost the love of his life not once, but twice.
The warm afternoon celebration in the delta was spent as a family supporting each other in their grief of having lost their precious loved one. Sheri was notorious for never having a bad word to say about anyone and for opening her heart, and home, to all. Besides her husband of just 40 days, she leaves behind children, grandchildren, sisters and her best friend Heather as well as an extended family of friends who will keep the memory of her beautiful smile and radiant spirit in their hearts forever. Farewell, sweet Sheri. Godspeed.