Anita Cox Farnsworth is a mother and philanthropist and contributes her time and means to literacy. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Farnsworth grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and attended both Arizona State University and Brigham Young University. She married Ross Farnsworth in 1954. She assisted her husband first in his career as a high school teacher, and later as he and his father and brothers developed a successful real estate development company.
She is the mother of twelve children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom she regularly gives books. She regularly attends the BYU annual Books for Young Readers conference. She and five of her daughters started a storytelling festival in Mesa, patterned after the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival held in Utah County.
Anita and Ross Farnsworth each served on the BYU Alumni Board, working specifically with the Aspen Grove Family Camp. They later served on other BYU committees, and she filled a leadership role during the Lighting the Way capital campaign. They were on the BYU President’s Leadership Council together and the Friends of the Harold B. Lee Library Board, of which she is the chair. They donated to BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library for many years. The Juvenile Literature Library is named in their honor.
Farnsworth and her husband were honorary co-chairs for the Mesa Arts Alliance. One of the theaters at the Mesa Arts Center is named after her.
Her husband passed away in 2013. She continues her philanthropic and literacy efforts.