Veteran State Lawmaker Dies
September 23, 2013 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Republican state Rep. Phyllis Pond of New Haven has died just weeks after announcing she would resign her seat in the General Assembly due to a lung disease.
Pond, 82, had been the longest serving female House member in state history. She was first elected in 1978 and became the first woman to earn a seat in the front row of the chamber, spots reserved for leaders or lawmakers with the most seniority.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, called Pond a “revered colleague, a strong voice for her district and a compassionate conservative who always stood by her principles.”
Pond said in August that she would resign her seat effective Oct. 15. The announcement followed a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that damages lung tissue.
A caucus to choose her replacement already had been scheduled for Oct. 8.
Pond taught kindergarten before coming to the legislature and pushed bills to reduce class sizes and send more minority students to law school.
“Phyllis has been a steadfast leader in our caucus and has forged a new path for women legislators in Indiana,” Bosma said in a statement. “Her dedication and service will continue to be fondly remembered by all. She will undoubtedly be missed.”