Maria was the third child of Capt. Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead and she had six siblings, Rupert, Agathe, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina. Maria’s parents, Georg and Agathe, were talented musicians, and all the children learned to sing and play instruments. After Agathe’s death from scarlet fever, Georg von Trapp married Maria Kutschera five years later. Together, Maria and Georg had three more children; Eleonore, Rosemarie, and Johannes. Maria wrote a book about their life, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
It was Maria’s book that prompted “The Sound of Music” (1959 Broadway show and 1965 film) and two German movies as well. The 1965 movie starred Julie Andrews as Captain von Trapp’s second wife and Christopher Plummer as Baron von Trapp. The movie was a huge hit, winning best picture and four other awards.
After the Trapps escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938, they moved to the United States, traveled the world, and purchased a family home in Stowe in 1950. The elder Maria von Trapp died in 1987.
In a statement after his half-sister’s death, Johannes wrote, “Thank you for your thoughts. Maria had a wonderful lie and while we will miss her, the memories of her will live on.”