Last memeber of Singing Family, Maria Von dies at 99
A great super star who was family for her songs in all segments of society died at the age of 99. She was the last surviving member of the family of seven brothers and sisters, passed away in her sleep at her home in Vermont.
“It was a surprise that she was the one in the family to live the longest because ever since she was a child she suffered from a weak heart,” Marianne Dorfer, who runs the von Trapp Villa Hotel in Salzburg, told the newspaper.
Dorfer continued that Maria’s poor health was the reason her father, Baron von Trapp, hired governess, Maria von Trapp, to teach her and her brothers and sisters.
Maria recounted the memory in a post on her family’s website for their Austrian-inspired lodge in Vermont: “As a result of scarlet fever, I was too sickly to walk the three miles to school every day, and the doctor advised that I stay home. This condition brought Maria Augusta Kutschera to teach me first grade gymnasium, the equivalent of middle school. She came to us as my teacher and after three years became our second mother.”
Born Maria Franziska, the second eldest daughter and third oldest child, she fled from Austria with her family in 1938 to escape the Nazis.
The famous singing siblings’ tale sparked the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical and the 1965 film, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Heather Menzies portrayed Louisa, Maria’s character. The classic movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.