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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  1. We are so sorry for your loss. We will remember him as kind and generous to everyone in downtown Hermosa Beach. He truly supported the people and businesses for years. He truly is an icon in this town. We have lost a legend. He will be missed.

  2. My sincere condolences to the Thelan family. I have been a patron of “The Mermaid” for 20 years and knew “Boots”, as well as anyone could. He was a caring man, a crotechy one, but somehow you knew that he loved his customers, especially the regulars. I will miss his prescence as I go there. Miss his sitting outside in the sun and saying “Hi Mary, how are you doing today.” I will miss seeing him do those crossword puzzles and keeping and eye on the patrons,their language and dress. I will miss the sage who could answer my questions about Hermosa history, as I have only lived here since 1970. I will miss all of these things. However, I was there in those last days when he came to his place, and I believe he is out of pain and in a much better place. Each and every family member is in my thoughts and prayers, during this time of transition and adjustment. My love to you all.

  3. Condolences to you Larry , Michael , and all. Though there will be an emptiness at the bar… endless thoughts and stories of Boots will forever linger. UYou father was a good and fair man and I’m glad the I caught up with him this year.

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