Thelma June Eigenmann, age 76, of Saint Charles, MO, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, March 11, 2022. She was born in LaPorte, IN, on April 14, 1945, to Helen and Harold Bennitt Sr. A graduate of Rolling Prairie High School in 1963, Thelma was a popular and involved student who was selected as Prom Queen. During high school, Thelma worked as a ticket-taker at the local theatre where she met and started dating Martin “Butch” Eigenmann. After graduating, Thelma attended cosmetology school and worked as a hairdresser while Butch attended college. Thelma and Butch married on July 8, 1967, and then moved to Florissant, MO, where Butch began his career at McDonnell Aircraft Co and they joined Chapel of Cross Lutheran Church.
Thelma was a devoted and loving mother to two children, Darrin and Dana. She dedicated herself full time to raising her family while also enjoying bowling and racquetball with her friends. If there was a school or sports event, Thelma volunteered and cheered them on. After raising her family, Thelma worked at Ben Franklin Craft Mart for many years until health issues forced her to retire.
Thelma battled health issues for over 20 years. Initially diagnosed with the fatal lung disease pulmonary fibrosis, Thelma fought for years until she was blessed with a double lung transplant on June 25, 2009. Thelma would later suffer a brain aneurysm, stroke, emergency pacemaker, numerous infections and illnesses, and transplant rejection. Each time, she battled back with strength and determination. She continually defied the odds and did so with grace, gratitude, kindness, and humble courage. Thelma was a huge inspiration to those who knew and loved her, including her outstanding team of doctors at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Despite her health issues, Thelma enjoyed every moment, especially with her grandchildren. She attended every event she could or watched via Facebook Live, and for the ones she could not, Thelma insisted on a detailed report afterward. Thelma formed lasting bonds with each grandchild, routinely beat them at Yahtzee, and took tremendous pride in all they did. She was their #1 fan. She loved fiercely and deeply, and we take comfort in knowing that she is now at peace surrounded by light.
Thelma is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Martin Eigenmann Jr, and their children Darrin (Kelly) Eigenmann and Dana (Adam) Ehrlich; Siblings Harold Bennitt Jr and Judy (the late Ronald) Harenza; Grandchildren Amanda, Tyler, Emily, Brady, Joshua, Isabelle and Olivia along with many friends and family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Harold Bennitt Sr.
Visitation will be held at Paul Funeral Home, 240 N. Kingshighway, Saint Charles, MO 63301, on Sunday, March 20, 2022, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, with service beginning at 2:30 pm. Burial will be directly after at Oak Grove Cemetery. All C.S.T.
Memorial Donations: The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital – Transplant; Online at FoundationBarnes-Jewish.org
Local arrangements have been entrusted to Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel in La Porte, Indiana.