INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Rep. Phyllis Pond -- the longest-serving woman in the Indiana House of Representatives -- has died. She was 82.
Pond, a Republican from New Haven who was in the House 35 years, died Sunday. She had suffered significant health problems in recent years, including pulmonary fibrosis, The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette reported.
The representative had decided not to return for the 2014 legislative session and submitted a letter of resignation, effective Oct. 15.
Pond was known for her work on education issues. She wrote a bill that lowered class sizes to 18 in kindergarten through third grade.
"Today, the state of Indiana mourns the loss of a leader and a friend to all Hoosiers. Phyllis was a revered colleague, a strong voice for her district and a compassionate conservative who always stood by her principles," said House Speaker Brian C. Bosma, an Indianapolis Republican.
A caucus to fill Pond's seat has been scheduled for Oct. 8.