Area Residents & Officials Pay Final Respects To State Rep. Phyllis Pond

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

September 26, 2013 Updated Sep 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- Visitation began Thursday for State Representative Phyllis Pond, who passed away Sunday.

The 82-year old Pond touched countless lives throughout her 37-year career as a kindergarten teacher at New Haven Elementary.

Her 35-years as a republican state representative earned her the title as the longest-serving woman in the House, as well as earning her a seat in the front row of the chamber.

“The fact that she was in the front row. My goodness, I think that was wonderful, for a woman to be in the front row down there and so well thought of. Wonderful, yes,” says mourner Linda Towsley.

Pond was a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout den mother and winner of the state's highest award, the Sagamore of the Wabash.

“I can remember when my class went, we were so impressed with the Statehouse and the grandeur and everything that went on. And Dad was very fond of Phyllis, and she was always very kind when the students were there,” says Laura Burger, whose father knew Pond well.

Visitation will be held at Emanuel Lutheran Church on Green Street until nine Thursday night, and again Friday morning from nine to ten.

Pond's funeral begins at 10:30 and a large procession will travel through New Haven on the way to her burial site in nearby warren.

She's survived by her husband of 62 years and three children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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