Rosmarie Trapp death: Eldest daughter of musical family that inspired The Sound of Music dies, aged 93

‘Her kindness, generosity, and colorful spirit were legendary, and she had a positive impact on countless lives,’ the family’s statement read

Maanya Sachdeva
Wednesday 18 May 2022 10:15 BST
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Rosmarie Trapp, a member of the musical family that inspired Oscar-winning film The Sound of Music, has died aged 93.

The eldest daughter of naval war hero Captain Georg Johannes von Trapp and his second wife Maria Augusta Kutschera “passed away peacefully”at a nursing home in Vermont, US on 13 May.

She was in the “presence of loved ones all day long”, her family said in an statement posted to Instagram on Saturday (14 May). No cause of death has been revealed.

The statement, also signed by the family’s only surviving son Johannes von Trapp, read: “[Rosemarie’s] kindness, generosity, and colorful spirit were legendary, and she had a positive impact on countless lives.”

Her family has asked for privacy as they prepare to come to terms with their loss and also “to celebrate the life of an amazing woman.”

“We believe the best way to recognise Rosmarie is to demonstrate the same selfless kindness and generosity that she exemplified daily,” the statement continued.

According to an obituary published in theVermont Biz on Tuesday (17 May), Trapp was born on 8 February 1929 on the outskirts of Salzburg, Austria.

Her childhood was spent in Salzburg, together with her seven older half-siblings and two younger siblings. Later, the von Trapp family emigrated to the US in 1938, fleeing Austria when Captain von Trapp faced pressure to cooperate with the Nazis.

Three years later, the family relocated from Pennsylvania to Stowe – a town in northern Vermont – and eventually set up the Trapp Family Lodge in 1950. Trapp became a US citizen the following year, and performed with the Trapp Family Singers for many years.

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Their story was adapted into one Broadway’s most famous musicals and even inspired the 1965 Oscar-winning movie The Sound of Music – with Julie Andrews cast as Maria – although Trapp rarely spoke about her family’s claim to fame.

She later worked for five years as a lay missionary and teacher in Papua, New Guinea with her sister Maria. According to her obituary, Trapp also volunteered on a Kibbutz, or communal settlement in Israel, and reportedly over-stayed her visa.

The obituary also highlighted “Rosmarie’s sense of curiosity and wonder [which] led her to explore a variety of projects throughout her life”, including organising sing-a-longs and knitting circles, owning multiple thrift shops, and teaching people how to sing and play the recorder.

Her persistent letters to the Stowe Reporter apparently earned Trapp her own column titled “Rosemarie’s Corner in the local Vermont newspaper.

While Trapp’s burial service already took place at the family cemetery at the Trapp Family Lodge, a celebration of life will be held on June 5 at the Stowe Community Church.

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