Ralph S. Passante, Sr., the owner of one of New Jersey’s most storied printing companies, died on January 27. He was 77.
Passante owned Royal Printing Service, a West New York-based company that over the last few decades emerged as the unofficial Political Printer of New Jersey. It was a union shop that did work for both parties, often trusted by candidates running against each other in primary and general elections across the state to maintain confidentiality.
A former teacher, he took over the company in 1963 at age 21 after his father, Ralph F. Passante, died unexpectedly. Passante grew the business from a 4,000 square foot shop to a 30,000 square foot facility with 50 employees and consistent upgrades to ensure the most modern printing technology.
Passante ran for public office once, seeking a seat on the Englewood Cliffs Board of Education in 1971. He lost by just 45 votes to Ilan Plawker.
Plawker went on to serve 15 years on the school board, 17 years on the borough council, and ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate and Assembly. After the ’71 school board race, Plawker used Passante as his printer.
Passante played basketball at Memorial High School in West New York and at St. John’s University. He coached youth basketball for decades.
Two of his sons, David and Kevin, eventually joined him at RPS.
A viewing will be held at the Vainieri Funeral Home in North Bergen on Saturday from 4-8 PM, followed by a second viewing at the Pizzi Funeral Home in Northvale from 12-4 PM on Sunday. Funeral services will be held at 10 AM on Monday at St. Pius X Church in Old Tappan.