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Remembering Werner von Trapp

The life of one of the most colorful members of the original Trapp Family Singers came to an end Oct. 11. Accomplished singer and musician Werner von Trapp, age 91, was buried last month in Waitsfield, Vt.

Werner von Trapp, age 91, was the son of Austro-Hungarian Navy Capt. Georg von Trapp. Singer Maria (Kutschera) von Trapp, a former Benedictine novice, was his stepmother.

Von Trapp was made famous, along with the rest of his family, in the Rogers and Hammerstein production of The Sound of Music on Broadway and in the movies. Werner von Trapp was best known as the accomplished tenor of the family choir.

Released in 1965, the film version portrayed Werner as a character named Kurt. Actor Duane Chase portrayed Kurt/Werner in the movie. Trapp family members have expressed mixed to negative feelings about the accuracy of their portrayals inThe Sound of Music. No matter, the play and movie made the family famous.

The Trapps escaped Nazi-run Europe when Capt. von Trapp refused a commission in the navy of Nazi Germany. The family quickly settled in Vermont.

The Stowe area reminded Maria von Trapp of the foothills of her beloved Austrian Alps. Nearby, Werner owned and operated a successful dairy farm.

Von Trapp became a naturalized United States citizen while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He was the grandfather of Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and Justin, the current incarnation of the Trapp Family Singers.

Today, the grandchildren keep their famous family tradition alive and call themselves the Von Trapp Children singers.

A brief Trapp Family biography:
Georg von Trapp (1880-1947).
Maria von Trapp (1905-1987).
Rupert von Trapp, M.D. (1911-1992).
Hedwig von Trapp (1917-1975).
Johanna von Trapp (1919-1994).
Martina von Trapp (1921-1951).
Werner von Trapp (1915-2007).
Agathe von Trapp (1913-), a retired teacher living in Baltimore, Maryland.
Maria F. von Trapp (1914-), former lay missionary in Papua, New Guinea, now living in Stowe.
Rosmarie von Trapp (1929-), a retired teacher who travels extensively as a missionary.
Elenore ("Lorli") von Trapp Campbell (1931-), lives in Waitsfield.
Johannes von Trapp (1939-), president of Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
For additional, more in-depth information about the von Trapp family and memorabilia, see: http://trapp.e-beans.net/products/index.php?c=8 .
Information courtesy of the Trapp Family Lodge.

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