Dunwoody store owner brought sunshine to everyone she encountered

Joe Parker

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DUNWOODY, Ga. – Camelot Jeweler’s owner Helen Sher never had a bad day. According to her son, Mike Pearce, who worked with her at the Jett Ferry-area shop since 1993, Sher always had a cheery smile and positive attitude that never wavered, even when she was battling cancer.

“Everyone, I mean everyone, has to have a bad day once and awhile, but my mom never did, Pearce said. “It was always, ‘Welcome to Camelot,’ no matter what was happening to her.

Sher, 93, who had been battling and beating cancer for more than two decades, died in her sleep Oct. 24. She had opted to quit chemotherapy a year ago because “it had taken such a toll on her, Pearce said.

“She was doing great for a year after she stopped treatment, but then the last few months, her health declined, he said. “Up to a month before she died, she was still driving to work. She was just as sharp as she had ever been.

Camelot Jewelers, located in the Shops of Williamsburg, has been in business since 1977. Pearce and his sister, Marka, and Pearce’s daughter, Shannon, have continued in Sher’s footsteps, even though her death has left a giant void in their hearts.

“Every morning, we would talk and set the day, Pearce said of his mother. “That’s the thing that I miss the most about her.

Marka, who has been working at the store “forever, said she mourned in particular her Sunday lunches with Sher. They tried to eat local at all times, with the Asian Café down the street from the store being one of their favorites.

“Sunday was our day, she said. “I miss everything about her, but especially, that day.

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Mike Pearce’s wife, Raynelle, created a photo board that chronicled Sher’s life throughout her career, which has been installed at the store since her death.CATHY COBBS/CRIER

Sher and her staff were known throughout the decades as service-oriented business people, helping customers with orders both significant and sentimental. If you needed a family heirloom repaired, a diamond replaced, or a special jewelry item ordered or designed, Camelot was the place to go, even if you weren’t from around here.

Evidence of that was a chance encounter by a Crier reporter with Brian James, who regularly travels from Lawrenceville to Dunwoody to use the store’s engraving services. He said he wouldn’t trust the work with anyone but Camelot Jewelers, and cited Sher and her generosity of spirit as the primary reason for his trust in the business and its mission.

“She was the epitome of a life well-lived. I loved visiting with her and talking to her, James said. “Remember, we are just passing through this world and it’s not so much who we are, but what we do. Helen was an amazing example of someone who made her mark on the world. I truly believe that the seeds that she sowed with the family and the staff will carry them on throughout their lives, and I came today to wish those blessings on them.

Mike Pearce’s wife, Raynelle, created a photo board that chronicled Sher’s life throughout her career, which has been installed at the store since her death. Mike said many people come by to look at the board and talk about Sher’s impact on their lives.

“She was something, he said. “If there was ever an example of someone who did everything to the greatest extent, it was her.

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Camelot Jewelers, located at 2484 Mount Vernon Road, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

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