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Remembering Raymond J. Prince


May 5, 2020
By PrintAction Staff

Raymond (Ray) J. Prince passed away on May 1, 2020. Ray was a 61-year printing industry veteran, consultant and advisor who dedicated his career to helping printing companies improve their productivity and quality with the objective of increasing their profitability.

As told in his obituary by his friend of 52 years, Harvey Levenson, Professor Emeritus at Cal Poly, Ray’s interest in graphic communication began when he was just 14 years old. He had found a 3”x 5” Kelsey hand-operated printing press in his parents’ attic and asked his father to teach him how to operate it. After printing letterheads and envelopes for his church, he realized he had “created something of use and beauty, and was hooked”.

Ray earned an A.A.S. and B.S. in printing management from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and an M.S. in printing management from South Dakota State University. Ray worked at the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) and Azoplate Corporation, among others, and served on the Board of Directors of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA), an industry research organization of leading scientists, technologists and innovators in the graphic communication industry, and served on many committees.

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After returning to GATF, Ray began his work on consulting, lectures, writing, conducting seminars and travelling. When GATF merged with PIA, Ray was named director of technical service, and had a large number of consultants reporting to him. After many years at GATF/PIA, Ray was hired as a vice president by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), an industry association, and he moved back onto the consulting side.

After attempting to retire in 2009, he “quickly realized that retirement was not for him, and he started his own consulting practice”. During his career, Ray consulted in numerous operational areas spanning from sheetfed and web press testing and solving paper and ink problems, to colour control systems and paper waste reduction.

His obituary includes the following excerpt:

Always a friend and supporter of education, Ray helped develop the resources and funded what is now called the Raymond J. Prince Graphic Arts Center (RJPGAC) at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. He arranged many donations of publications, raised substantial money, and was responsible for the donation of the entire Printing Industries of America Wadsworth Library to Cal Poly; now the largest graphic communication library in the world. The collection includes rare books, some dating back hundreds of years. These books are protected in the university’s Rare Book Collection, but accessible by students, faculty, and members of the industry for research. Hence, the students at Cal Poly are surrounded by knowledge at their fingertips as a result of Ray Prince.

In an essay that Ray Prince wrote, that appeared in the recent Ben Franklin Honor Society BFHS Book of Wisdom, Ray leaves our present and future industry members the following advice.

  • Hard work is a must
  • Get your education
  • Attend seminars, workshops, conferences, and expositions in your field
  • Be motivated and open to training
  • Do more than asked to do
  • Do not be intimidated by public speaking, but pursue it
  • Become involved in industry associations
  • Research companies carefully before taking positions
  • Be a self-starter and innovator to further the interests of your company
  • When in a leadership position, motivate employees
  • Work to improve the physical work environment
  • Always leave a job on excellent terms
  • Try to give back to your industry every year
  • Develop a “Friends List”

Ray is survived by his wife, Bonnie, daughters Susan and Sarah, and grandson, Joseph.

There is no service planned. Condolences may be sent to: Bonnie Prince, 249 Desperado Lane, Custer, South Dakota 57730 or emailed to: 263sophies.mom@gmail.com.


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