Maria von Trapp, of the Trapp Family Singers, dies at 99

By Marie Blake,

Maria von Trapp, whose family inspired the musical and film The Sound of Music, died in her home at age 99.

CNN reports that Maria's half-brother, Johannes, confirmed that Maria died Tuesday in her Vermont home of natural causes.

Maria's step-mother, Maria Kutschera von Trapp, wrote a book about the family entitled, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, which inspired the musical The Sound of Music.

Maria and her six siblings, as well as her step-mother and father, Capt. Georg von Trapp, were all talented musicians. Georg and Maria Kutschera also had three more children, Rosemarie, Eleonore and Johannes.

Johannes released a statement after Maria's death.

"Thank you for your thoughts," Johannes wrote. "Maria had a wonderful life and while we will miss her, the memories of her will live on."

The Associated Press reports that the Trapp family fled from Nazi-occupied Austria, and performed throughout Europe and the United States, before settling down in Vermont, opening a ski lodge.

Maria was never married and served as a lay missionary in Papua, New Guinea later in her life.

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