Maria Franziska von Trapp

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Maria Franziska von Trapp
Maria Franziska von Trapp in 1948.jpg
Petition for Naturalization, 1948
Born Maria Agatha Franziska Gobertina von Trapp
(1914-09-28)28 September 1914
Zell am See, Salzburg, Austria-Hungary
Died 18 February 2014(2014-02-18) (aged 99)
Stowe, Vermont, U.S.
Occupation Singer and Catholic missionary
Children 1
Parent(s) Georg von Trapp
Agatha Whitehead

Maria Agatha Franziska Gobertina von Trapp (28 September 1914 – 18 February 2014) was the second-oldest daughter of Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agatha Whitehead von Trapp.[1][2] She was a member of the Trapp Family Singers, whose lives inspired the musical and film The Sound of Music. She was portrayed by Heather Menzies as the character "Louisa". She died at age 99, and was the last surviving sibling portrayed in the film.[2]


She was born on 28 September 1914 in Zell am See, Salzburg, then part of Austria-Hungary.[2]

Her siblings were Rupert von Trapp (1911–1992), Agathe von Trapp (1913–2010), Werner von Trapp (1915–2007), Hedwig von Trapp (1917–1972), Johanna von Trapp (1919–1994), and Martina von Trapp (1921–1951). Along with her six siblings, father, and stepmother, Maria Augusta von Trapp, she was part of the Trapp Family Singers, who inspired the 1959 Broadway musical and the 1965 Academy Award-winning Best Picture The Sound of Music. Von Trapp sang second soprano in the choir, together with her sister Martina von Trapp. The family fled Austria after the German annexation of Austria, fearing reprisals resulting from declining to sing at Hitler's birthday party and Georg von Trapp's refusal to accept a commission in Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.[3]

The Trapp family rehearsing before a concert, near Boston, 27 September 1941.

They emigrated to the United States in 1938, settled in Vermont in 1942, and performed throughout the country. Baron von Trapp died in 1947. Maria Franziska became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1948 and lived at her family's lodge in Stowe, Vermont. The family continued to tour until their last concert on 26 January 1956[4], at which time Maria Franziska and her stepmother became lay missionaries in Papua New Guinea where Maria Franziska adopted a son, Kikuli Mwanukuzi.[2][5][6]

From 22 July 2008 to 27 July 2008, she visited her childhood home in Salzburg/Aigen and her birthplace in Zell am See.[2][7][8] Accompanying her were her half-brother Johannes and her sister-in-law Erika (Werner's widow). During their visit, the group met with Ernst Florian Winter, the husband of her sister Johanna (1919–1994).

She was the last survivor of the seven original von Trapp children. Three half-siblings, from her father's second marriage, Rosmarie von Trapp (born 1928 or 1929), Eleonore von Trapp (born 1931), and Johannes von Trapp (born 1939), are still alive, but were not featured in The Sound of Music.[9]

Maria Franziska von Trapp died on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 in Stowe, Vermont at the age of 99.[1][2][9][10][11]


  1. ^ a b "Maria Trapp: Letztes Mitglied der singenden Familie tot". Salzburger Nachrichten (in German). 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Maria von Trapp, 'Sound of Music' Daughter, Dies at 99". New York Times. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014. Maria Franziska von Trapp, the last surviving sibling of seven brothers and sisters who were portrayed in the Broadway musical and the film 'The Sound of Music,' died on Tuesday at her home in Stowe, Vt. She was 99. Her death was confirmed by her half-brother, Johannes von Trapp. 
  3. ^ Ransom, Candice F. (2002). Maria Von Trapp: Beyond the Sound of Music. pp. 51–55. ISBN 9781575054445. 
  4. ^ Childs, Martin (4 January 2011). "Agathe von Trapp: Eldest daughter of the family who inspired 'The Sound of Music'". The Independent Obituaries. London. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Profile of Kikuli Mwanukuzi, at page 15 Archived 14 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.,; accessed 24 February 2014.
  6. ^ Ingrid Jackson (1 October 2006). "Maria von Trapp". Australian School of Pacific Administration. Retrieved 24 February 2014. In 1956 the Trapp Family Singers had toured Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. ... Maria and Rosmarie taught 'the little ones' and tended the sick in villages while, among other chores, Johannes built a church and two schoolhouses. He remained in PNG for four years, Rosmarie for five and Maria for a dedicated 30. 
  7. ^ "Sound of Music Villa Opens for Business". New York Times. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2014. Maria von Trapp, 94, the second eldest daughter, center above, with her brother Johannes von Trapp and their sister-in-law Erika von Trapp, was present at the opening on Friday. 
  8. ^ Peterkin, Tom (26 July 2008). "Maria Franziska von Trapp returns to home that inspired The Sound of Music". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 December 2008. Seventy years after fleeing the Nazis, a 93-year-old woman whose family was immortalized in "The Sound of Music" has returned to Austria to visit her former home. 
  9. ^ a b "Maria von Trapp, last of famous singing siblings, dies at 99". CNN. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. Maria von Trapp, the last of the singing children immortalized in the movie musical 'The Sound of Music,' died at her Vermont home of natural causes, her half-brother told CNN on Saturday. The native of Austria was 99 and lived in Stowe. She died Tuesday. 
  10. ^ "Maria von Trapp, last member of Sound of Music family, dies". BBC. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. The last surviving member of the Trapp Family Singers, the group whose story inspired The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 99, her family say. Maria von Trapp died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, her brother, Johannes von Trapp, told the Associated Press. 
  11. ^ "Maria von Trapp: last member of family group that inspired Sound of Music dies. Family escaped Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and won acclaim throughout Europe for their singing". The Guardian. Associated Press. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. The last surviving member of the famous Trapp Family Singers made famous in The Sound of Music has died at her home in Vermont, aged 99. Von Trapp's brother, Johannes von Trapp, said she died on Tuesday. ... 

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