A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Sunday, at Bluebird
Park for multi-talented Laguna Beach native Phoebe Ann Whipple. Ms.
Whipple died July 12, 2002, due to complications from subdural
bleeding. She was 71.
“She was an artist, actress, mother, activist, registered nurse
and a wonderful cook,” daughter Liza Stewart said.
There were no hospitals in Laguna Beach when Ms. Whipple was born
Sept. 28, 1930 to Elizabeth and Arthur Whipple, artists and
publishers of the Laguna Beach magazine, “The Racket,” in the 1930s.
They brought their baby daughter home straight from Newport Beach
Hospital to their Diamond Street home. Ms. Whipple spent most of the
rest of her life in town, honing her varied talents.
Ms. Whipple graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1948. She
ran for school president at a time when women did not do that sort of
thing and came close to winning.
“She was way ahead of her time,” her daughter said. “Rather than
teaching my sister and me how to do our hair, she taught us how to be
good people, involved in our community.”
Ms. Whipple married her first husband, Daniel Leroy Shull II, at
age 18. They lived in a small shack by Thalia Street Beach where they
had only cold running water and had to cross the street to use the
restroom at the gas station. They loved beach activities, including
The young couple moved to the Marshall Islands in 1950, where she
taught English to the islanders. They returned to California when
they learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to her first son in Los
The Shulls divorced in 1952 and Ms. Whipple moved into a Laguna
Beach apartment with her infant son.
Ms. Whipple’s second husband was cartoonist Phil Interlandi, who
died June 26.
They met in 1953 when Ms. Whipple was auditioning at the Laguna
“He gave her some suggestions,” said their daughter.
Apparently, they were good ones. Two years later, Ms. Whipple won
the Laguna Beach Community Players Victor Award for best supporting
The couple married on New Years Eve, 1954 in Las Vegas. They were
Laguna’s A list couple. To be friends with the Interlandis, it was
said, was to in the “in” crowd.
The Interlandis had three children before divorcing in 1967.
While still married, Ms. Whipple exhibited her paintings at the
Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and painted some of the backgrounds for
the Pageant of the Masters. In 1959, she met the late actress Bette
Davis while serving as art director for the pageant. The sons of the
two women played together while their mothers worked.
Ms. Whipple was an activist for low cost housing and civil rights.
She was a member of Village Laguna early on.
After the Interlandis divorced, she started to work at the
Fairview State Hospital, later taking advantage of a state
scholarship program for nurse’s training. She graduated from
Saddleback Community College and received her license as a registered
nurse in the spring of 1973, while raising her four children
virtually on her own, family members said.
Ms. Whipple willed her body to UCLA for medical research. She felt
that money spent on a burial or cremation could be better spent to
further the knowledge of the medical community, a family spokesperson
Ms. Whipple is survived by her sister, Judy Sinisgalli of Laguna
Beach; two sons, Daniel L. Shull and Joseph P. Interlandi both of
Laguna Beach; daughter Carla Armstrong and her husband, Dennis, of
Capistrano Beach; and daughter Liza I. Stewart and her husband,
Steven, of Laguna Beach.
The family plans to plant a tree in her memory. In lieu of
flowers, contributions can be made to a tree fund. Donations may be
sent to McDonnell Business Services, in care of Phoebe Whipple, 355
Third St., Laguna Beach 92651.
-- Barbara Diamond