Death of Ralph Passante, printer of New Jersey politics

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Ralph S. Passante, Sr., owner of one of New Jersey’s most famous printing companies, died on January 27. He was 77 years old.

Passante owned Royal Printing Service, a West New York-based company that over the past decades has grown into New Jersey’s unofficial political printer. It was a union shop that worked for both sides, which candidates often trusted in primary and general elections statewide to maintain confidentiality.

A former teacher, he took over the company in 1963 at the age of 21 after the sudden death of his father, Ralph F. Passante. Passante has grown the business from a 4,000 square foot store to a 30,000 square foot facility with 50 employees and constant upgrades to ensure the most modern printing technology.

Passante once ran for public office, seeking a seat on the Englewood Cliffs Board of Education in 1971. He lost by just 45 votes to Ilan Plawker.

Plawker then served 15 years on the school board, 17 years on the district council and ran unsuccessfully for the Senate and the State Assembly. After the 1971 school board race, Plawker used Passante as a printer.

Passante played basketball at Memorial High School in western New York and at St. John’s University. He has coached young basketball players for decades.

Two of his sons, David and Kevin, eventually joined him at RPS.

A visitation will be held at Vainieri Funeral Home in North Bergen on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by a second visitation to Pizzi Funeral Home in Northvale from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. on Monday at St. Pius X Church in Old Tappan.


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