Mathias was born in Iowa on Jan. 2, 1918, the son of Mathias and Lena (Kramer) Ruba.
At the age of 18, he volunteered and served in the Army in World War II.
On May 5, 1941, he served as a cook in the Philippines until 1942, when he was captured and spent one year in the Philippines in a Japanese prison camp. He was in the Bataan March and was sent to Japan, where he spent two and a half years in a prison camp.
He was released in 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1946.
He returned to Iowa and worked as a carpenter, then moved to California in 1947.
He is survived by three daughters: Barbara Ramirez, of Placerville, Calif., Susan Porte, of Livermore, Calif., and Kay Shepherd of Livermore; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Mary K. Ruba.
A funeral service was at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, 2012, at Chapel of the Chimes, 32992 Mission Blvd., Hayward, Calif., 94544
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through chapelofthechimes5.reachlocal.net/obituary.