Rep. Phyllis Pond dies at age 82


The longest-serving female state representative in Indiana's history has died after 35 years in office. 

The Indiana House speaker's office announced the death of Republican Representative Phyllis Pond of New Haven. The 82-year-old Pond announced just three weeks ago her decision to resign effective October 15 after being recently diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. 

Pond was a retired kindergarten teacher first elected to her Fort Wayne-area district in 1978. Her legislative work included pushing measures that reduced class sizes throughout the state and helped minority students attend law school.

Governor Mike Pence issued this statement:

"A devoted public servant for 35 years, Phyllis Pond led with integrity and passion, consistently placing the needs of those in her district before her own and influencing improvements to education for all Hoosiers. It is with heavy hearts that the First Lady and I offer our deepest condolences and prayers to her beloved family as we join them in mourning the loss of this extraordinary Hoosier leader."