Sister Peter Joseph (Joan) Navone, 1943 – 2015

Sr. Peter Joseph Navone

Sister Peter Joseph (Joan) Navone, a Sister of Notre Dame for 54 years, died surrounded by family and friends, at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland on April 26, 2015.  A graduate of Notre Dame High School, San Jose and College of Notre Dame in Belmont, she spent most of her life in the Santa Clara Valley.

An elementary school teacher and principal for almost 50 years, Sr. Peter Joseph influenced many hundreds of young people, giving them the sure knowledge that she enjoyed being with them and expected great things of them. She often spoke of her gratitude for the blessings of being both a Sister of Notre Dame and a teacher.

Over the past 25 years at St. Joseph of Cupertino School, Sister contributed to a strong sense of community in her classroom and the school.  Principal, Mary Lyons, described Sr. Peter Joseph as “irreplaceable. . . renowned as a junior high language arts teacher. . . who loved the children and took a personal interest in them.  Even after retiring in 2011, she returned to St. Joseph of Cupertino to start a new Homework Club and Language Arts Enrichment class. Sister came to school almost every day; we just loved having her here.”

Sr. Peter Joseph instilled in the students her own love of reading and trained them in good writing skills. Graduates often returned to tell her how well-prepared they were for high school.  Friends, colleagues and students appreciated Sister’s positive attitude, creativity, energy and infectious sense of humor.

Sister previously enjoyed teaching at Notre Dame schools in Seahurst and Seattle, WA; at Sacred Heart, San Jose and Sacred Heart, Saratoga; at St. Lucy, Campbell and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Redwood City.

Predeceased by her parents, Julio and Helen Navone, Sr. Peter Joseph will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by her community of Sisters of Notre Dame, and by her sister and best friend, Carol Navone, of San Francisco, her brother Edward Navone, of Kansas, her cousins Robert and Joyce Vola, of Grass Valley.  She will be long remembered by students from every school where she served and shaped lives.

Teachers and children organized a joyful celebration of Sister Peter Joseph’s life at Mass on Friday, May 1, 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish, 10110 N. De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 1520 Ralston Avenue, Belmont, CA 94002 or online.


  1. Joan and I were classmates but did not deepen our friendship for many years after graduation. Once we reconnected we became close and saw a good deal of each other. She was a wonderful girl, bright spirit, good-hearted and so kind.. She had a beautiful soul and a fine sense of humor and she will be deeply missed.

  2. Farewell to Sister Peter Joseph (Joan) Navone
    My name is Angela Volpe (Marshall). I was in the Notre Dame “Class of 1961” with my good friend, Joan Navone.
    I came from Italy when I was 11 years old and shortly thereafter I met Joan and we became close friends. Our friendship continued through our years at Notre Dame and beyond. As I became a Foreign Language teacher, Sister Peter Joseph became a Language Arts teacher as well as a Principal for many years.
    In the year 2000, for the Jubilee Year celebration, Pope John Paul II decided to marry eight couples from around the world. My daughter and future husband were chosen to represent the United States. Many family members and friends (including Sr. Peter Joseph) traveled with us to Italy for the big occasion. That was one of the highlights of her life since she was among the crowd when Pope John Paul II blessed all the people in St. Peter’s Square where the celebration took place.
    The last time I saw Sr. Peter Joseph was at the 50th Celebration of her service as a nun. This is a memory that I will always cherish, and I will miss my friend dearly.
    Angela Volpe Marshall

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