INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Longtime state lawmaker Phyllis Pond is retiring after close to four decades of service in the Indiana House of Representatives.
Her recent diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis caused her to submit her resignation effective Oct. 15. The Republican lawmaker has represented Fort Wayne and eastern Allen County since 1978.
Gov. Mike Pence and top lawmakers from both parties lauded her many years in the Legislature. House Speaker Brian Bosma announced her resignation Friday "with a heavy heart" and dubbed Pond a "pillar of strength" in the General Assembly.
Pond is a retired kindergarten teacher, known for pushing measures that reduced class sizes throughout the state and helped minority students attend law school.
Indiana Republican Party Chairman Tim Berry announced a caucus would be called to fill her seat.