Born MaryLou Vogel in New York City, on April 25, 1926, the family moved to California when she was four. The oldest of three girls, she grew up in Cheviot Hills, CA, where she attended Emerson JHS and University HS '43. She was known by her childhood nickname, "Mel". Mel attended Newcomb College, UC Berkeley and UCLA
, studying Communications. She loved to invest in classic cars which she enjoyed both restoring and driving. Mel married Ken Whitmore, a prominent local photographer and was his business manager for 30 years. Mel is survived by her two children, Tony and Katie. She was a strict, strong, determined lady who loved her kids; she especially loved her three grandsons, Matthew, Hunter, and Morgan, and her two granddaughters, Megan and Natalie. She steadfastly maintained her dignity throughout a prolonged illness and passed away peacefully on January 16, 2014, in her Westchester home at the age of 87.