Posted By LAF Editor on February 25, 2014
Our great aunt Maria, sister of my grandfather Werner von Trapp, was the last to pass away of the original seven von Trapp Children on Tuesday Feb 18th 2014. We will miss her cheerful spirit and infectious laugh. She was portrayed as Louisa from “The Sound Of Music.”
Maria was taken from school because she was diagnosed with scarlet fever at a young age. Our great grandfather George von Trapp (a war hero in the Austrian Navy) asked a Salzburg abbey to provide a tutor to take care of the younger Maria. This tutor was none other Maria Kutschera who later became Maria von Trapp, stepmother to the seven children.
Aunt Maria recovered from the fever with a very cheerful disposition, even during troubling times. We remember hearing when her family was no longer able to afford servants, aunt Maria proclaimed “Hurrah! Now we can do our own dishes!”
She toured with her singing family as alto for 20 years all over the world. She was loved dearly by her family was called by the enduring nickname of “Mitzi.” I remember my Aunt Agatha say that one of aunt Maria’s jobs would be making sandwiches for the family while they were on their bus tours.
The family stopped singing in 1956. Maria’s strong faith compelled her to contact a mission in Papua New Guinea, where she served as a missionary for 30 years. When she spoke of those years she would get her signature twinkle in her eye. She then returned to Stowe, Vermont full of joy and with an adopted son named Kikuli Mwanukuzi. Kikuli took great care of her till she passed away.
When the four of us were small Aunt Maria would come visit us in Montana always bringing her accordion. She would teach us Austrian folk songs and how to dance the Landler. In 2008 she translated over 40 Austrian children’s songs that she asked us to record for her children’s songbook.
Read the rest here
The World of the Trapp Family: The Life Story of the Legendary Family Who Inspired “The Sound of Music”
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers
The Von Trapp Children Volume 1