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New Haven mourns one of its own

Services for beloved lawmaker span 2 days

Pond

– Friends, family and the public can attend calling and funeral services for Rep. Phyllis Pond, R-New Haven, Thursday and Friday.

Pond died Sunday at 6:34 p.m. after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in late August.

The funeral service is 10:30 a.m. Friday at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 800 Green St., New Haven, with calling from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Calling is also 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the church.

Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Warren.

Preferred memorials are to Emanuel Lutheran Church or Pulmonary Fibrosis Association. Cards can be sent to Pond’s family at 8530 Seiler Road in New Haven, IN 46774.

Pond was elected to the Indiana House in 1978 and was the longest serving female state representative in the history of Indiana.

She was also the first female lawmaker to earn a seat in the front row in the House Chamber, which is reserved for House leaders or representatives with the most seniority.

The Indiana House will honor her on Organization Day, Nov. 19. Her name will be added to the “In Memory Of” plaque that is displayed in the House Chamber that lists legislators who have died while serving the citizens of Indiana in the House of Representatives.

“Phyllis Pond was an historic leader for Allen County and for the people of Indiana. She was one of the first women to serve in the State Legislature from our area, and she served with great effectiveness, passion and distinction for 35 years,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne.

“She never lost her zeal for the job, nor her focus on improving the lives of the people of our state. It’s hard to imagine our delegation without Phyllis. We will miss her greatly.”

Gov. Mike Pence also lauded Pond’s service.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The Allen County commissioners called Pond an inspiration to women throughout the state.

“During her 35 years in office, Phyllis was committed to the people of her district and this state. Guided by her experience as a teacher, she became a strong advocate for improving educational opportunities for our students. We will always remember and appreciate Representative Pond’s willingness to work side by side with our office in crafting and supporting legislation designed to make Allen County a better place in which to live,” a statement from the board said.

nkelly@jg.net

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