"She was both a wonderful activist and a very strong power in the Democratic Party. She was competent, bright, warm and friendly," said former state Sen. Julian L. "Jack" Lapides.

"At the same time, there was never any nonsense about her not being able to handle the job. Her fight against the road was legendary," he said.

"She loved Canton and Southeast Baltimore. She was of the old school when people got involved in things and their communities and never expected any recognition in return," said Senator Lapides.

Active in politics, Mrs. Canoles had served as state Sen. Cornell Dypski's treasurer in his 1974 campaign for state Senate. She also had been involved in Senator Mikulski's campaigns for City Council and City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke's 1995 mayoral campaign.

Mrs. Canoles was appointed in 1979 to the city Liquor Board by Gov. Harry R. Hughes and served until 1981, when she failed to be reappointed.

She was born Dolores Bock, the daughter of parents who ran a poultry breeding farm, in Mannington, W.Va., and was raised in Farmington, W.Va., where she graduated from high school in 1948.

She came to Baltimore that year, taking a position as a clerk with the Social Security Administration, which in those days had its headquarters in the Candler Building downtown.

She was married in 1947 to Thomas B. Canoles Sr., an electrician, and stopped working two years later when they had children.

He died in 1997.

She returned to work in the 1960s when she became an office worker at Church Home and Hospital. During the 1970s and 1980s, she was a secretary to several doctors.

Mrs. Canoles subsequently worked for the Masters, Mates and Pilots Association in Linthicum, and at the time of her retirement in the mid-1990s was working for Four East Madison Orthopedic Associates in Baltimore.

Since 2001, Mrs. Canoles had lived at the Parkville retirement community. She enjoyed singing in choirs, directing musical productions and attending the theater.

"Politics was her passion and hobby, and she passed her sense of community involvement on to her children," said her daughter, Mary Strassner of Perry Hall, a former president of the Canton Improvement Association.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the chapel at Oak Crest, 8800 Walther Blvd.

Also surviving are four sons, Robert Canoles of Parkville, Daniel Canoles of White Marsh, Brian Canoles of Baltimore and Thomas Canoles Jr. of St. Charles, Ill.; 10 grandchildren; and four great-granddaughters.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com