Maria von Trapp, Last Member of Family That Inspired ‘The Sound of Music’, Dies at 99

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By Keerthi Mohan | February 23, 2014 10:31 PM EST

Maria von Trapp, the last of the seven singing children immortalized by the movie “The Sound of Music”, died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday. She was 99 years old and died of natural causes.

Reuters
Maria von Trapp, daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp.

Maria, who was born in 1914, was the last surviving member of the original Trapp Family Singers, who were made popular by the classic “The Sound of Music” (1965). She was the second oldest daughter of Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, the Associated Press reported.

The Sound of Music” is loosely based on the captain’s second wife, also Maria, and how they became the singing family during their escape from the Nazis in 1938.

"She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people," her brother Johannes von Trapp was quoted by the Associated Press. "There wasn't a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that."

Marianne Dorfer, a friend of the von Trapps who runs the von Trapp Villa Hotel in Salzburg, Austria, told the Austrian Times that it is surprising that Maria was the last surviving member, as she was often prone to sickness.

“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,” Dorfer said.

“It was the fact that she suffered from this that her father decided to hire Maria von Trapp to teach her and her brothers and sisters. That of course then led to one of the most remarkable musical partnerships of the last century."

Maria had also written an account of her meeting their future mother on the Trapp Family Lodge's website in a post titled "The Story of My Life."

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Maria von Trapp, daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp.
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