Anna Louise Allen Farnsworth, long-time resident of Normal,
passed away peacefully Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at Martin Health
Center in Bloomington, at 9:52 a.m. She was 94 years old.
A visitation will be held on Friday, July 12, 2013, from 5:00
p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in
Bloomington. Funeral Services will be on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at
10:30 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church in Normal, with Pastor
Larry Gaylord officiating. Interment will take place at Funk's
Grove Cemetery in McLean.
Mrs. Farnsworth was born July 3, 1919, on a farm in Dillon
Township, two miles west of Delavan. A daughter of Ralph Allen Jr.,
and Mary Emma Giles Allen, she married George Lester Farnsworth
Jr., on July 26, 1941, in Green Valley. Her sisters Martha Zumwalt
and Stella Orwig survive her.
Also surviving are her daughter, Helen Farnsworth Grandone,
Urbana; and two sons, George A. (Mary Lou) Farnsworth, of
Bloomington, and John R. (Diane) Farnsworth, of Normal.
Other survivors include six grandchildren: Laura Marie
Farnsworth (Paul) Chelsen, West Chicago; Andrew Kirk Farnsworth,
Salt Lake City, UT; Matthew Robert Grandone, Bloomington; Janna
Grandone (Robert) Shell, Chicago; Shelley Ann Farnsworth, Denver,
CO; and Lauren Rose Farnsworth of Tupelo, MS. She had six
great-grandchildren: Caitlyn Marie, Annalise Hope, and Sadie Grace
Chelsen; Gavin Alexander, Grady James, and Addison Grace
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, and grandson
Geoffrey Eaton (Kelley) Farnsworth.
As a child, Anna Louise Allen attended a one-room schoolhouse,
paid attention, and skipped a grade-she rode a horse named "Puss"
two miles each day to get there. Growing up on a farm near Delavan
she learned the need for steadfast labor, intellectual curiosity,
and unflappable service to others that were to become the
organizing principles of her life.
At the University of Illinois and as a member of the Delta Delta
Delta sorority she formed friendships that would continue for the
rest of her life. While serving as Women's Business Manager for the
Daily Illini she met her husband George L. Farnsworth who was also
an editor-he was the tall man who came in to turn the light on for
her when she couldn't reach the drawstring for the light bulb.
Graduating in 1940 from the University of Illinois with a BS in
Home Economics, she was awarded numerous honors including Mortar
Board, Torch, Omicron Nu, and Alpha Lambda Delta.
Immediately after graduating, Anna Louise began teaching
high-school Home Economics in Atlanta, Illinois. She married in
1941 and began devoting much of her time and energy to her
Throughout her life Anna Louise worked as a tireless
philanthropist, benefactress, and board member. In these capacities
she was a key figure in facilitating the merger between the Lucy
Orme Morgan and Booker T. Washington Homes. She was a board member
at Kemmerer Village, and volunteer for Western Avenue Community
Center, ISPE Ladies Auxiliary and Brokaw Hospital. She served on
Session for several terms at First Presbyterian Church, was a
member of PEO, and gave time and resources to countless other
charitable and benevolent causes.
Family and friends remember Anna Louise's razor-sharp intellect,
steel-trap memory, skilled bridge playing (attaining a Life Master
Masterpoint ranking), her love of travel, golf, and Scrabble
Nieces, nephews and grandchildren fondly remember her elaborate
and loving hospitality, educational support, and patient ear.
Memorials may be made in Anna Louise Farnsworth's name to First
Presbyterian Church of Normal, 2000 E. College Ave., Normal,
Illinois 61761; Westminster Village Foundation, 2025 E. Lincoln,
Bloomington, Illinois 61701; Anna A. Farnsworth Memorial Fund,
University of Illinois Foundation,1305 W. Green Street, Urbana,
Illinois 61801; or a charity of the donor's choice.
Online condolences and memories of Anna may be sent to the
family at kiblerbradyruestman.com.
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