Florence Willis Farnsworth passed away at home on December 27th, 2023.
Our beloved mother and grandma was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 4th, 1952 - the sixth of eight children of Bertram T. and Jean C. Willis. Florence grew up in the Salt Lake "Avenues" surrounded by immediate and extended family whom she loved dearly throughout her life. Her bustling home was filled with music: singing together, attending the symphony and performing on the cello with a family quartet. She enjoyed family outings to Emigration and Brighton cabins, vacations, skiing, and hiking. Florence attended West High School where she enjoyed choir and orchestra and created wonderful friendships that lasted throughout her life. At BYU she earned a degree in Nursing. Working at LDS Hospital, Florence was set up on a blind date with the younger brother of one of the residents. The romance blossomed and David Farnsworth proposed to Florence down in Zion National Park. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1975.
The young couple moved around the country with Dad's work. With her trademark patience and fortitude, Mom packed up without complaint and made a beautiful home and new friends wherever she went. She was hard-working, thrifty, and independent, especially with Dad's grueling travel schedule. She loved hiking, skiing, traveling the world with Dad, gardening, singing, and playing the piano and cello.
Mom was the best of Moms. She enjoyed being a mother and loved and accepted unconditionally, and we each felt it. Mom was a nurturer to the core. She read us stories, sang us to sleep, and loved playing with us. She never pressured us, but supported us in our various pursuits and invested in learning about them. She was a cheerleader for each of us, attending our games, choir and band concerts, dance and piano recitals, and continued to cheer us on throughout our lives.
Mom had a special place in her heart for children. Gentle and cheerful, she was happiest with a baby in her arms and children playing nearby. Her home was a haven for the grandchildren. She loved to snuggle them, read and play games together, and take them skiing. Mom's ability to redirect and calm a child in distress was like watching a master at work. Frooties (Tootsie Rolls) and Creamies were always available, especially when helping a parent coax a child to the car when it was time to go home.
Mom's faith was simple, powerful, and centered on the Savior. She loved purely and unconditionally. She epitomized humility, patience, and charity. She served faithfully in whatever capacity she was called - the Relief Society, Young Women's, and she especially loved serving in the Primary. Mom enjoyed her interfaith role with the Grace Lutheran Church and the dear friendships made there. She fulfilled a lifelong dream of serving a mission with Dad at BYU-Hawaii. She never preached, but gave a master sermon with the way she lived her life. Above all, Mom loved people. She cared deeply about others and had a gift of reaching the one. Hers is a life well worth celebrating.
Florence Farnsworth is survived by her five children, Betsy Mabey (Justin); Reed Farnsworth; Joani Stevens (Jeff); Grant Farnsworth (Josi); Daniel Farnsworth (Cassie) and 16 grandchildren; siblings Tim Willis, Lou Jean Huber, (Kent and Judy Rich), Barbara Corry, Rebecca Boren, David Willis, and Mary Beth Bingham.
She was preceded in death by her husband, David; parents, Bertram and Jean Willis, and sister Francine Rich.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at 270 N 300 E, Centerville, Utah, where a viewing will be held that morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Humanitarian Aid Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the charity of your choice.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and this obituary page.