Ruben was born on August 18, 1929, in La Verne, California, to Juana and Jose Castro. The Castro family moved to Moorpark, California just after Ruben was born. At an early age, Ruben began to learn the lessons of service to God and community that became the example of his life.
As a boy, Ruben worked with his father and grandfather in the family store on High Street. Ruben played football for Moorpark Memorial Union High School where he graduated in 1948. Ruben was married to his high school sweetheart Dolores Arenas in 1950.
A veteran of the Korean War, Ruben enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1949 and served until 1953 when he returned home to run the store for the family. Castro’s Market was originally known as La Mas Barata, which literally translates to English as The Cheapest. But to the Latino community, La Mas Barata meant not only The Best Prices, but a place where anyone could receive respect and understanding.
Ruben became a leader in Moorpark as a local businessman who would speak publicly on behalf of the Latino community. He was the first Latino to join the Rotary Club in Moorpark and eventually became the club’s treasurer. He was the first Latino to serve on the Moorpark Unified School District Board, where he served as president.
Ruben attracted national attention as part of a team that successfully mediated a labor dispute between workers at Egg City and the owners of the egg farm, one of the largest egg producers in the country at the time. In 1966, he was appointed by Gov. Pat Brown to serve on the 31st District Agriculture Association (also known as the Ventura County Fair Board). Gov. Ronald Reagan recognized Ruben’s efforts and extended his appointment in 1970.
After more than 20 years of service, Ruben retired from Catholic Charities in Moorpark (also know as the Moorpark Food Pantry) in 2005.
Ruben was among a select group of Moorpark Holy Cross parishioners who were honored by Pope John Paul II for their service and dedication to the church.
Ruben’s many years of service to the community was recognized by the city of Moorpark in 2007, when it named a 25,000-square foot multi-service center in his honor. Sadly, Ruben was unable to see the completion of the Ruben Castro Human Resources Center, but he was comforted that the city was taking steps to provide for the less fortunate of the community.
He passed away peacefully at his home in Moorpark on December 2, 2009. He was 80.
Ruben is remembered in Moorpark as a community leader and servant to Moorpark’s less fortunate. Ruben Castro Charities is named after Ruben to continue his compassionate works and community service.