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Passing of NW Industry Icon, Ralph VanDyke

Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Jules VanSant.


(From his Business Partner Jack Roberts, AIPEX, INC. in Seattle, WA)

The family has asked me to help them in preparing the paid obituary notices, in addition to notifying many of Mr. Van Dyke’s friends and colleagues who knew him. I have lost track of those contacts and could sure use some help. I am also keenly aware of Ralph’s position inthe industry, since he was the person who hired me from southern California in l965 to direct his new VANCOLOR NEWSPAPER DIVISION, which supplied full color reproduction material to supermarkets for their newspaper advertising.

He founded Seattle’s first color separation company, VAN DYKE, INC., in l952 and mentored numerous individuals who went on to start their own production companies.

He collaborated with Dr. John Sherman, in the Geography Department at the University of Washington to develop and produce maps for the blind…..a ten-year project that brought him international acclaim. His maps have assisted vision impaired students on college campuses around the world.

His company installed the first Pako automatic film processor in the Northwest U.S. and he obtained a contract with Washington State that continued for fourteen years, producing all of the state’s color separations. Through research & development his company produced aphoto polymer plate that resulted in press runs of almost six million impressions.

In later years. and just before retirement, he co-founded AIPEX, INC., a printing brokerage firm that specialized in high-quality, low-cost offshore printing.

Ralph was born on January 26, 1925 to Laurence and Edith Van Dyke, Greensburg Westmoreland City, Pennsylvania and passed away on April 5, 2016 at his home in Arlington, Washington, from natural causes. Ralph was a World War 2 veteran, serving honorably on the USSNEW JERSEY BB-62 as a gunner.

He will be laid to rest on Saturday, May 28 at 2:00 p.m. at the TahomaNational Cemetery, 18600 S.E.240th. St., Kent, Washington 98042. The United Stated Navy will perform full military honors.

Obituary will be posted online at