Remembering Sister June (Andrew) Canoles (1929-2020)

We remember with gratitude the life of Sister June Canoles, who was a Sister of Notre Dame for 69 years.

June Delight Canoles was born June 21, 1929. She loved life, adventure, people, humor, teaching and entertaining.

June’s mother sent her to Villa Angelica School in Carmel during WW II, and later, to Moreland Notre Dame School in Watsonville, both run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. June loved everything about these first experiences of being in a Catholic school and meeting Sisters.

June Canoles participated in the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island (1939-40).

By 1948, in her senior year of high school, June was dating a boy, playing violin in the Monterey Symphony Orchestra and riding motorcycles. She knew she could be happy marrying the boy and raising a family together. "But," she thought, "if I become a Sister my life will be bigger, with wider influence."  She chose to become a Sister and remembers entering the and convent thinking, "I'm home!"

As Sister Andrew, she brought her energy and enthusiasm to primary grade children in Notre Dame schools in California, Oregon and Washington. As a musician herself, she delighted in directing a 60-voice children’s choir at Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Redwood City. As a principal, she was full of surprises-even riding a motorcycle into a student assembly!

Sr. June Canoles, SNDdeN with students on a field trip.

Sr. June always wanted to be an entrepreneur like her mother, who opened the first dance studio on the Monterey Peninsula and trained more than 100 dancers every year.

After 36 years of teaching, Sr. June was ready for a new challenge and asked to explore the science of graphology. After extensive training, she and good friend Sr. Harriet Dow, osf, founded the company Insyte, Inc., to use handwriting analysis to encourage and motivate as well as offer insights into personalities of current and prospective employees. She travelled extensively to give courses and lectures as a graphologist and motivational speaker. With the correspondence course she developed, she assisted corporations and hundreds of individuals around the world.

Business associate Loretta DuBois shared, "Sr. June's reputation among handwriting analysts is well known and far reaching and her knowledge of the craft is precise, effective and admirable." She always believed that people have more positive qualities, strengths and talents than flaws!

Their work as respected consultants and speakers took Sr. Harriet Dow, osf, and Sr. June Canoles, SNDdeN, to many distant places for their work.

Sr. June's positive and encouraging approach helped children and adults in seven different countries; she never missed an opportunity to affirm the unique gifts of others.

After retirement, she enjoyed living with the Sisters at the Province Center in Belmont, CA, then spent the last year of her life at Mercy Retirement & Care Center in Oakland, CA, where she died peacefully on May 3, 2020.

In school settings, offices, and parties, people responded positively to Sr. June’s infectious good humor, her genuine kindliness and compassion. Many friends would echo the words of Karen Ratzlaff, a former staff member at the Sisters’ Province Center: “This spirited, joyous, compassionate woman of God blessed me more than she will ever know.”

“Mine has been a wonderful life,” Sr. June said, “I look back and thank God for everything.”

She will be remembered and greatly missed by her family, especially her sister, Patricia Zanetta, a niece and nephews, her wide circle of friends, former students, and by her Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, of whom she was so proud.

A Memorial Mass will be offered to honor Sr. June’s life at a later date.

Sr. June's Ministries


1953-55 Sacred Heart Elementary School, Salinas, CA
1955 1958 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Redwood City, CA
1958-61 St. Francis of Assisi School, Seahurst, WA
1961-62 Madonna de Sasso Elementary School, Salinas, CA
1962-66 St. Stephen Elementary School, Portland, OR
1966-69 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Redwood City, CA
1969-79 Administrator, Moreland Notre Dame School, Watsonville, CA
1975-1980 Sacred Heart Elementary School, Saratoga, CA
1980-83 Music & Graphoanalysis, St. Lucy Elementary School, Campbell, CA
2009 Volunteer, St. Lucy Elementary School, Campbell


1983-2009 Insyte, Inc., Cupertino, CA

Watch the video below to see Sr. June bring her characteristic good spirits and sense of fun while playing the spoons at the 2018 Province Center Christmas Party! 

If you would like to make a memorial donation in Sr. June's name, please click here.


  1. We will miss you Sister June.You were a great friend to us for many years. I am sure you will be with our mutual and dear friend, Sister Ann Christine in heaven. Thank you for your prayers and help in difficult times. You will always be remembered. We love you. Barbara & Darrell Kirkland

    1. Thank you for your friendship and love for Sr. June and Sr. Ann Christine!

      (for the Sisters)

  2. I didn't have the privilege of knowing Sister June, but after reading about her and seeing the photos and video there is no doubt of God's Spirit in her. And I can imagine that Jesus is very happy to have her in heaven with Him.
    God's blessings…
    Denise (Johnsen) Drohman
    Notre Dame San Francisco
    Class of 1967

  3. "Sr. Andrew" was my second grade teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School. She had her "outlandish ways"– some parents complained– when she changed the traditional First Communion date from Mother's Day to Laetare Sunday so that we could also receive communion on Easter. Truly "outlandish"(but liturgically prophetic?). She also decreed that the boys would NOT wear white slacks and white shoes but dark blue slacks and black/brown shoes so that they could be worn again. Even more "outrageous" (but my mother thought she was the best thing that had hit the planet.) I think I began to see the "SND" way then, and later that year when I was St. Julie in the school Foundress Day events —habited at age seven– it was Sr. Andrew who had coached my mother's sewing. Sometimes vocations get seeded when we least expect!!

  4. I will always remember Sister June It was because of her my son was accepted at Moreland Notre Dame in Watsonville that was at a time when enrollment was at full capacity and she also hired me at the same time I will always remember her at the fund raisers she was so full of life. It is sad to hear of her passing but she is in a better place now.

    1. Thank you, Shirley. Yes, Sr. June was very generous, and a "character" in the best way possible.

      (for the Sisters)

  5. I barely remember 2nd grade at Mt. Carmel, but I sure remember that I loved and adored Sister Andrew. She will always be my favorite teacher of all time. It had to be her joyful attitude and wonderful smile that reassured me everything would be okay.

  6. In 1968, my “band” at Notre Dame Novitiate, Saratoga, was about to make first vows, and circumstances at the time required each of us to assume teaching positions that Fall. Several sisters in classrooms adopted each of us as our Master Teachers to give us the polish (and courage) we needed for these first missions. Sister Andrew became my Master Teacher in her fourth grade class at Mt. Carmel. What a glorious preparation she gave me—not only with the 4th grade curriculum, but especially with the music. Under her guidance, I worked with the class and with her chorus from across several grades. Over the years to come, I gladly incorporated some of her teaching songs (can you sing all the prepositions?) into my teaching, and I tried to mimic her spirit. Sr. Andrew taught each student —including me—that she or he could do anything. I still treasure the endless joy and energy that she brought into everything she did while I was with her. Thank you, Sr. Andrew/June for your mentoring and your example!

  7. Sister June,or as I knew her, Junie, was my aunt's sister. Although not related by blood, I always felt close to her, as though she was another aunt.

    I have so many happy memories of her during the holidays. Just the words "Junie's here!" made everything brighter and we knew there would laughter.

    I'll always miss her bright shining smile.

  8. I called Mercy yesterday to get a jump on Sr. June's birthday greeters. I knew that they would be lined up today to wish her a happy 91st birthday. It was then that I found out that June had passed.My name is Phil Segadelli. I was a 2nd grade student of hers in 1961 at St. Francis in Seahurst, WA. Sister June (Andrew) was my introduction to Catholic elementary school. Wow! I thought to myself that if all the teachers were going to be as creative and fun as Sister Andrew was, I had underestimated what Catholic school was all about! She was so happy all the time! She had magic carpet rides, which of course, needed magic dust. Every day was an adventure for me and my classmates. As fate would have it, at the end of the school year, she sat down with my Mom and Dad and suggested that perhaps it would be best for me to redo 2nd grade. I guess maybe I had been having too much fun in her class! That suggestion on her part reset the tumblers of my life experience. The kids that I ended up going through school with are still friends to this day. Around 1981 I became curious as to where this fabulous teacher was. I found her in Campbell, CA and to my surprise, she had very vivid memories of her time at St. Francis, and also remembered me as the rascal that I was back then. From that point on, Sister June and I stayed in touch. She was gracious enough to do a positive/negative analysis of my handwriting, which I treasure to this day. In 2017, I finally made the trek to Belmont with my wife Terri, to visit this wonderful, interesting lady in person. What's the first thing she did that put me at ease and tickled me pink? Her laugh! We had only planned to spend the morning with Sister June, but she was so engaging and insisted we stay for lunch, that our half day became a full day! Oh, did I mention, she had befriended 17 cats outside of her apartment window? And she loved to party! And she was not bashful about tooting her own horn as she closed in on the age of 90. In your life there are people that you just never forget that made such an impression and changed the course of your life, that you feel always indebted to them. Sister June is one of those people for me. I miss her already, but I know that she was content moving on to Heaven. God bless her and all of us. If there are any relatives of Sister that would like to contact me, please feel free to do so. or cell # XXX-XXX-XXXX.Thank you

    1. Thank you for your lovely tribute to Sr. June, Phil! To protect your privacy, I have removed your email and phone number, but anyone who would like to contact you can leave a comment and I will follow up with them with the information.

      (For the Sisters)

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