Ruben Martinez Castilleja was born to Modesto and Maria Refugio Castilleja on February 11, 1954 in Sonora, Texas.

He was one of fourteen children and was close to all his siblings near and far. He would often spend many hours traveling to visit each and everyone to ensure that all his brothers and sisters knew how important they were to him.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 26, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. Interment followed in the Sonora Cemetery.

Ruben’s first love was music. There was not a note or rhythm that he heard that he could not play. He was a self-taught talented musician who shared his love of music with his family and at the age of 11yrs he was a young saxophone player for “Little Ruben and the Royals”. He went on to record two singles with his brother and extended family at Joey Records in San Antonio, Texas.

He often spent Mother’s Day serenading his friends and family throughout the community of Sonora in honor of his mom.

When Ruben was not singing, playing his accordion, or bajo sexto he was a skilled mechanic. He sheared sheep alongside his brothers in his early twenties and thirties.

Fixing automobiles was one of his many talents and he excelled in working with oil industries throughout West Texas.

Ruben was a kind and loving soul who knew no strangers and was always surrounded by family and friends enjoying the little things in life.
While he touched many people’s hearts, Ruben will be greatly missed by those he was most proud of which were his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his daughter and grandson Adelaida and Jesus Adare Castilleja. His son Ruben Michael and his children Autumn Chayanne, Alex Cade, Tristyn Braylen Castilleja and Jonathan Shirley. His daughter Nerissa Aimee Mata married to Samuel A. Mata their children Samuel Andrew, Hayley Breanna, and Zachary Michael Mata and their grandmother Ada Perez Castilleja.

Ruben has blessed his family with wonderful memories of celebration, dancing, laughter and prayer. His faith was his greatest asset. We will greatly miss his smile and wit. We will miss the wonderful way he made everyone the most important person in the room, and we will miss the encouragement he would give when one most needed it.

Our Lord and Savior has called Ruben home and he has left us with hearts full of love and a profound appreciation for all music. Online condolences may be made at