Ralph S. Passante, Sr.


Ralph S. Passante, Sr.
April 3, 1942—January 27, 2020

Ralph S. Passante, Sr., of Old Tappan, NJ, passed away in the early hours of Monday, January 27, 2020, after a brief illness.  He was loved and respected by all who met him, and he made the world a better place with his presence in it.  

Dad was born in Weehawken, NJ, on April 3, 1942, to the late Martha (née Marino) and Ralph F. Passante, and was raised in North Bergen, NJ.  As the youngest son of a proudly Italian family, he early on developed the meticulous cooking skills and sophisticated palate for which, years later, he would be renowned among his friends.  

Basketball was his passion.  He was an All-State player at Memorial High School in West New York, NJ, and continued to excel at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Long Island.  He coached at Holy Trinity School in Fort Lee, NJ, St. Cecelia High School in Englewood, NJ, and Northern Valley Regional High School in Old Tappan, NJ, as well as multiple travel leagues.  He was never happier than when enthusiastically cheering on his players or his grandchildren at a game.  

Dad owned and operated Royal Printing Service in West New York, the company founded by his father in 1932, for 57 years, proudly building on the family legacy with his sons (and my brothers), David and Kevin.  His reputation was unmatched for integrity, honesty, and character, and many of his business associates also cherished him as a friend.  

He enjoyed traveling the world with my mother, as well as entertaining at home with great food and company—no one ever refused one of his invitations.  When he wanted to relax, he loved nothing more than going fishing on his boat, and he found joy in nature: feeding and watching the birds in the backyard, or growing fresh vegetables and herbs in his garden.  

Dad’s generosity was legendary, as was his compassion, especially for those less fortunate than himself, and he selflessly supported his community with his time, money, and talents.  No one ever had a better or more loyal friend, and my parents’ marriage was the best role model anyone ever saw.  

He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years (and partner of 61), Lucia (née Witt); his sons, Ralph, Jr., of Old Tappan, David (and Madelyn), of Harrington Park, and Kevin (and Allison), of Norwood; his grandchildren, Nicole, Nicholas, Christopher, Julia, and Alexander; his sister, Betty Stevens, of North Bergen, and numerous other relatives and friends.  

Theodore Hesburgh said, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother,” and by that measure—and innumerable others—there has never been a better husband, father, and human being than my Dad.  He was as fine a human being and as exemplary a member of the community as has ever lived.  We love you, Dad, and will miss you always.  ️

Saturday, February 1, 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Vainieri Funeral Home
5923 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
North Bergen, NJ 07047

Sunday, February 2, 12:00-4:00 p.m.
Pizzi Funeral Home
120 Paris Ave.
Northvale, NJ 07647

Monday, February 3, 10:00 a.m.
St. Pius X Church
268 Old Tappan Rd.
Old Tappan, NJ 07675

Interment immediately following:
George Washington Memorial Park
234 Paramus Rd.
Paramus, NJ 07652

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ralph’s memory may be made to one of the following worthy organizations, which have great personal meaning to us:

New York City Gay Men’s Chorus
561 Seventh Ave., Suite 701
New York, NY 10018

CASA for Children of Bergen County
One Bergen County Plaza, Suite 334
Hackensack, NJ 07601
”Donate Now”
(Select-“I would like to dedicate this donation”)

The V Foundation for Cancer Research
14600 Weston Parkway
Cary, NC 27513



  1. Marla Wood-Bury

    Lucia and family, we just heard the shocking news and are so very sorry for your loss. You all are in our thoughts and prayers. We will miss Ralph and will always have such wonderful memories of our time with Ralph, you and your family in Aruba.
    Marla and Andy Bury

  2. Luigina Yerino

    Dear Lucia,
    Sending you love.

Speak Your Mind