RALPH ARTHUR TAYLOR, SR. "Tabo"
Ralph A. Taylor, Sr., a resident of Springfield, VA
and former Publications Officer of the U.S.
Supreme Court, died on July 27, 2012, in the
company of his wife and children.
Mr. Taylor, known since his childhood as
"Tabo," was born on January 9, 1917 in Washington
DC and graduated from Central High School. Following high school, he
was selected for admission to the Government Printing Office (GPO)
Apprentice School, where he began his government career. He graduated
from that School in 1940 and continued working for the GPO until World
War II began.
During World War II, he served with the 13th Army Air Force in the
Southwest Pacific, where he flew 55 combat missions as a radio operator on
B-25 bombers. His awards include the Air Medal with oak-leaf cluster,
Purple Heart, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal,
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation, WWII Victory Medal and 5
Following Tabo's discharge from the Air Force in May 1945, he returned to
work at the GPO in Washington, DC. In October of 1946, he was selected
to help organize a hot-metal print shop in the Supreme Court. The function
of this shop was to print the top-secret opinions of the justices in
preparation for the announcement of those decisions from the bench. In
May of 1952, he became a member of the Court's Office of the Reporter of
Decisions. He was subsequently appointed as the Court's first Publications
Officer. His responsibilities included editing for publication all decisions of
the Court. In the late 1970s, he was instrumental in changing the Court's
hot-metal printing operation to a computerized system. He retired from the
Court in 1980, after more than 44 years of government service.
Tabo was a member of the Graham Road United Methodist Church in Falls
Church, VA, a past president of the Government Printing Office Alumni
Association, a life member of the Franklin Technical Society, and a member
of the American Legion Post 177.
Survivors include his wife of 74 years, Mary Florence (nee Aylor) of
Springfield, VA; four children, Ralph, Jr. of Washington, DC, J. Randolph
of Bethesda, MD, Ronald W. of Timonium, MD and Denise T. O'Malley of
Fairfax, VA; 10 grandchildren; two cousins and three nieces.
A memorial service will be held at the Greenspring Village Chapel, 7410
Spring Village Dr., Springfield, VA, on Friday, August 10 at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American
Cancer Society or Graham Road United Methodist Church, 2929 Graham
Road, Falls Church 22042
He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Published in The Washington Post on August 5, 2012