Cover photo for Betty Lou Thelan's Obituary
Betty Lou Thelan Profile Photo

Betty Lou Thelan

May 12, 1936 — June 10, 2022


Betty Lou Thelan

Betty Lou Thelan, 86 of Charleston, South Carolina, passed away peacefully and comfortably on Friday, June 10, 2022.


Born on May 12, 1936 in Elgin, IL, Betty was the daughter of the late Leona Eickstaedt (Salow) and Frederick Eickstaedt.


Betty grew up on a farm in northern Illinois with her brothers and sister. It was in Elgin that she met and married the love of her life, Leslie Thelan.  Together they had many memorable adventures such as traveling and flying in Les’ plane.  Betty was widowed at an early age and raised her two sons in Springdale, Arkansas.  She retired in 2001 and moved to North Augusta, SC to be near her grandchildren and relocated with her son and grandchildren to Charleston in 2008.  Leslie, John and Cameron were the loves of her life, and they loved their “grammy.”  She was the ultimate selfless grandmother.  She read books, helped with homework, shuttled to activities, and attended more soccer and baseball games than one could imagine.  She especially enjoyed the weekly Thelan family dinners on Sunday evenings.  She loved her dog “Henry” for 17 years and most recently her little “Killian”.  She never met a stranger and was always happy to see her friends and enjoy a glass of wine.  


Betty is preceded in death by Frederick Eickstaedt (Father), Leona Eickstaedt (Mother), Leslie Allen Thelan (Husband), Bonnie Mabe (Sister), Dick Eickstaedt (Brother), Kenny Eickstaedt (Brother).


Betty is survived by son, Brian Thelan, daughter-in-law Beth Thelan, son, Stephen Thelan, three grandchildren, Leslie, John and Cameron, brother and sister-in-law John and Lynn Thelan and brother-in-law John Mabe along with many friends, nieces and nephews.


A memorial service will be held at 11AM Saturday, June 25th at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home on James Island – 347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC  29412


Brian and Beth thank Betty’s friends for their care and concern over the years, and a special thanks to Kindred Hospice and the loving staff of Indigo Hall.


Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Lou Thelan, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, James Island

347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412

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