August 28, 1921 ~ July 24, 2007
Quentin "Boots" Thelen died Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes after a short illness. He was 85. Thelen, the youngest of eleven children, was born August 28, 1921 in Faulkton, South Dakota. Upon graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Air Force and was a North Africa-based pilot during World War II before being shot down over the Mediterranean. His crash into the sea left him with two shattered kneecaps, an ailment that persisted his entire life. Following the war he settled in Hermosa Beach and attended classes at both U.S.C. and U.C.L.A. before purchasing the Mermaid Restaurant in 1954 - a Hermosa Beach landmark located at Pier Avenue and the Strand. He would continue to run the establishment nearly unchanged for the next 53 years, up until his final days. He was a passionate businessman and civic leader, serving the city of Hermosa Beach first as a city councilman and later its mayor during the 1960s. His efforts led to rebuilding the Hermosa Beach pier in 1965 and he represented the city as a member of a South Bay ambassador group to Russia in1968. An avid golfer, he won numerous amateur tournaments throughout Southern California and was a longtime member of the Palos Verdes County Club, serving as its President in the 1970s. Later in life he and his wife, Juanita, who preceded him in death in 1998, traveled extensively. He leaves behind two sisters, a brother, four children, two stepchildren, five grandchildren, and dozens of nieces and nephews. A private service for family will take place Sunday, July 29. A memorial party celebrating his life will be held at Thelen's Mermaid Restaurant, on Pier Avenue at the Strand in Hermosa Beach, Monday, July 30 from 6-8 pm. The public is welcome.
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