Welcome to the memorial page for

June Cardinale

May 24, 1928 ~ June 26, 2017 (age 89)

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June Cardinale, a resident of Sonoma for 28 years, was entered into rest June 26, 2017.

She was preceded in death by her husband Rocco Cardinale, and her daughter Roxann Cardinale (Chaney) Kontzer.

She is survived by sons Rex Cardinale and Cary Cardinale, daughter-in-law Jaelin Cardinale, and grandchildren Alexandra Chaney, Gianna Cardinale Gaudini, Owen Chaney, Camille Cardinale and Jackson Kontzer, and great grandchild Giacamo Gaudini.

She was born Betty June Hardy in Cotton Valley, Louisiana, a small town on the Texas – Louisiana border on May 24, 1928. After attending high school in Clayton, New Mexico, she later began working in a regional record store in Amarillo, Texas. Her father was in the oil industry and worked in many cities along the famous Route 66. In 1950, she helped a customer who had come in to the store looking for a record. Being a huge baseball fan, she recognized the customer as Rocco Cardinale, the catcher for the local Amarillo professional baseball team. As the story goes, no one knows for sure if he got his record, but he did find his bride. They were married on December 3, 1951 and the twin loves of music and baseball were prominent mainstays in the family history.

First and foremost, June was a kind, caring and very friendly person. She had the innate ability to befriend a complete stranger in seconds and did so throughout her life. Anyone who ever met her spoke very highly of her.  Like her beloved chihuahua Pepper, she was very small (many inches under 5 feet tall), but could be very strong and was definitely a take charge person. She also was famous for her sense of humor and wonderful laugh.

June was considered to be an expert in the music industry, particularly jazz music, and counted among her favorite performers Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and Count Basie. Besides working at the regional record store in Amarillo, she worked many years in the record department at the famous Sherman Clay music store in San Francisco. 

After spending some formative years in San Francisco, the Cardinale family settled down in Santa Clara County in the mid 50s and remained there until 1989, first in Santa Clara and later in San Jose. June retired from Wells Fargo Bank after a 17 year career and a few years later, the couple retired to Sonoma, CA. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 3, 2001.

She was well known as a gifted, world-class cook, making almost everything from scratch and could somehow make the simplest dishes the best rendition a person could eat. She also was very fond of eating in fine dining establishments. A splendid gardener, she was very proud of the 200-plus rose bushes in her garden, and she volunteered to tend to the rose bushes in Sonoma Plaza for many years. Growing up, her extended family had a very large rose farm in Tyler, Texas, the "rose capital of the world".

She was a competitive contract bridge player, and after retiring, took up painting and a previously unknown talent emerged.  But her #1 love was baseball and she was devoted to the San Francisco Giants. Even at the age of 83, she braved the long lines and had her picture taken with the San Francisco Giants first world championship trophy. She spent decades in the grandstands attending the baseball games of her sons and husband (player, manager and youth baseball executive) and was known to cheer any great play, even if it was from an opponent. 

If you wanted to know June, you should know baseball, jazz, and fine dining along with good old fashioned home cooking. And being appreciative of beautiful roses would certainly help.

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