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In photos, Mrs. Kane appears genteel. Her grandson said she was determined and headstrong.
She and John Kane Jr. began dating during Roosevelt's 1940 campaign and wed in December of that year. Friends said the marriage reinforced her commitment to politics.
"I think she felt like she could make a difference, so there was no stopping her," he said.
Friends said Mrs. Kane was content to remain in the background much of the time, offering advice to proteges and making phone calls to advance the candidates she supported. She was an excellent organizer and cool under pressure, a person who seemed always to know what to say and how to size up a situation.
Mrs. Kane worked on Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential campaigns of 1932 and 1936. In 1939, she took a job as secretary to Elinor Kane, who was the wife of county Commissioner John J. Kane, president of the Allegheny County Democratic Women's Guild and the mother of John J. Kane Jr.
Other survivors are her sons, John J. Kane of South Park and Michael Kane of West Mifflin; a sister, Betty Haskins; and three grandchildren.
"The register of wills position is mainly a good housekeeping job, and who is better equipped to the task than a housewife?" she said in a news release at the time.
"She was one of the people you had to see in Allegheny County if you wanted a career in politics," said Common Pleas Judge Michael Della Vecchia, who got to know Mrs. Kane when he was county recorder of deeds. The register of wills and recorder of deeds no longer exist; the duties are performed by the Department of Court Records.
Mrs. Kane's husband died in 1976, and she retired from public office in 1992. In recent years, her grandson said, she remained interested in politics even though ill health slowed her down.
Mrs. Kane, 95, who lived most of her life at the Kane family home in West Mifflin, was elected the county's first female register of wills in 1959 and held the office for 32 years. Along the way, she encouraged thousands of other women to follow her example and Miu Miu Eyewear built her own power base partly with the women's vote at the local, state and national levels.
former South Hills High School.
Mrs. Kane was born Oct. 1, 1915, in Brookline and graduated from the Gucci Handbag Images
She and Sophie Masloff met more than 70 years ago on the day they began working their desks side by side at the county Office of Property Assessment. The two, destined for greater roles, were friends ever after.
Despite her cautious tone in that first campaign, Mrs. Kane was a strong advocate for women in politics and other areas of life. She was involved in various Democratic women's groups and organized luncheons that drew hundreds of female Gucci Belt Bag Crossbody
"She was a pioneer. When we began, women were not involved hardly Belt Gucci Men
"We were more than just friends. We were family. We went through thick and thin, good and bad," Mrs. Masloff, mayor of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 1994, said.
According to a family story related by her grandson, attorney John R. Kane of Mt. Lebanon, Mrs. Kane accompanied her father during door to door campaigning for Al Smith, a Democrat and the first Catholic to run for president, in 1928. When a voter spit in her face, she knew she had found her calling.
"Everybody respected her and everybody listened to her, and as a result, she became a great kingmaker kingmaker and queen maker," said Frederick Frank, an attorney and confidant of Mrs. Masloff.
When a constituent called years ago to ask for help getting his daughter into the prestigious law school, Mrs. Sen. Ted Kennedy, a friend of the school and of Mrs. Kane. The woman was personally interviewed by the dean and admitted, Judge Della Vecchia said.
"This was a real Democratic bastion," a place where national candidates needed support, Judge Della Vecchia said. The help of people like Mrs. Kane was crucial, he said.
Friends said Mrs. Kane helped Mrs. Masloff's career and that of late Common Pleas President Judge Paul Zavarella. When another friend, Donald Wuerl, was named bishop of Pittsburgh in 1988, Judge Della Vecchia called her to joke that she had reached the height of her power.
Mrs. Kane rubbed elbows with various presidents.
Mrs. Kane first ran for office in 1959 against a GOP challenger who also was a woman.
Longtime Democratic kingmaker and queen
Nor, Ms. Ernsberger said, do local politicians today have Mrs. Kane's following or the ability to "put together something like that."
Mrs. Kane was a delegate and alternate delegate to Democratic National Conventions. In 1979, she was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. In 1988, she received the Art Rooney Award for contributions to Pittsburgh.
voters into her network.
"They were huge," Barbara Ernsberger, first female chairwoman of the city Democratic Committee, said of the events. "You don't have anything going on like that today."
Rita Wilson Kane, who entered Democratic politics at a time when few women did and consorted with Roosevelts and Kennedys during a long career as an Allegheny County officeholder and power broker, died Friday at Paramount Senior Living at Bethel Park.
During one visit to Pittsburgh, Eleanor Roosevelt took off her corsage and gave it to Mrs. Kane. When John Kennedy blitzed the battleground state of West Virginia before the 1960 primary, Mrs. Kane went along. Mrs. Kane's family has a photograph of her with Harry Truman. Jimmy Carter met with her during a 1979 visit to Pittsburgh.
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