Arnold Mathias passed away on April 27, 2018. His body has been sent to the Anatomical Board of the State of Texas for use in teaching and scientific purposes. This bequest was made by Mathias as a last act in a long list of activities on behalf of his fellow man.
Arnold was a lover of the human race and his life is a testimonial to his Christian faith. During his lifetime he held leadership positions as the President of the Lone Star District of the Walther League, as State Treasurer of the Lutheran Laymen’s League, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas District of the Lutheran Church. Currently thousands of boys and girls enjoy the facilities of Camp Lone Star, a year round facility operated by Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Mathias and his wife, Marge, were early leaders in growing Camp Lone Star ministry in the early 1950s. He held at one time or another, nearly every office in the local congregation of which he was a member.
Civic and service organizations also received the benefit of his desire to serve. These included: Central Texas Chairman of Girl Scouts of America, Chairman of the United Way, board member of Lion’s Club, member of Downtown Dallas Rotary Club, member of Waco Rotary Club, and accepted as a Paul Harris Fellow. In his early professional life he served in leadership positions of the Jay-Cees.
Other interests included affiliations with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Heritage Foundation, Cameron Park Zoological Society, Keep Waco Beautiful, and the Waco Historic Foundation.
Early in World War II, Mathias volunteers for military service. His combat experience was as leader of a tank platoon in the European Theatre of Operations serving in the 13th Armored Division, a part of General Patton’s 3rd army. He was wounded in the battle for the German Ruhr Valley. His post military affiliations include the Disabled American Veterans (life member), American Legion, and the Military of the Purple Heart (life member).
Mathias received his early education in rural Twin Mountain at Immanuel Lutheran School. It was a one room school with one teacher for all seven grades. After graduation from Copperas Cove High School, he attended Texas Tech University and the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a BBA degree from Texas Tech.
His career in voluntary organization management took him through the management of two local Texas Chambers of Commerce on the way to becoming a District Manager for the United States Chamber of Commerce headquartered in Houston. His next promotion took him to Dallas as the Southwestern Regional Manager for the National Chamber where he directed program activities in eight southwestern states.
After retirement from the National Chamber, his goal was to spend his remaining days back in Central Texas on a ranch, but it didn’t work out that way. For the next ten years he served as District Director of the 11th Congressional District in Central Texas. He again retired, but found his expertise in demand. He organized a one person public affairs firm and served as a consultant to various candidates for public office and a strategist for various public initiatives.
Another interest was rural real estate. Along with his brother and various other partners, he engaged in buying and selling hill country ranches. He also created and brought to fruition a housing subdivision adjacent to his original home town.
This was preceded by his public service as chairman of the zoning commission, then service on the city commission, and then election as Mayor of a small Harris county city.
Mathias was born in very modest circumstances in Copperas Cove (pop. 345), Coryell County, Texas. Parents Alvin and Ella Teinert Mathias raised him and his brother, the late Vic Mathias, of Austin. What his parents lacked in financial resources, they made up in love and nurturing during the depth of the depression.
Margie Dane Calhoun became his bride in 1950. This 68 year marriage produced a family made up of children Menda Franz of Dallas, Jeannie Nadel and husband Eric of Dallas, Nancy Damon and husband Dan of Round Rock. Grandchildren Kristin Barber and husband Matt, Mathew Franz and wife Kerry, Deanna Damon, and Alyssa Damon. Great grandchildren are Garrett, Julian, and Berkeley Barber.
The family would like to thank the caregivers at Ridgecrest for the loving care they provided the last three years.
There will be a memorial celebration of his life on June 2, 2018 at St. Paul Lutheran church in Waco at 1:00 pm.