The Indiana General Assembly did something on Organization Day on Nov. 19 that Bob Cherry doesn't remember being done before. The General Assembly passed a joint resolution in both houses honoring Phyllis Pond, a longtime Republican representative who passed away earlier this year at the age of 82.
Cherry, Greenfield, a landowner and Republican representative serving in the General Assembly, recalls Pond as a friend to agriculture. She helped on several issues over the years during her more than 35 years of service that aided agriculture in Indiana.
"She wasn't just a talker – she was a doer," Cherry says. "She was an educator by trade, but she was knowledgeable on many things."
Pond represented New Haven in Allen County. She and her family still own farm land in the area. Pond earned the Sagamore of the Wabash award from the late Governor Robert Orr in 1984. She was the longest-serving female member in the House of Representatives in Indiana in history. Pond was first elected to your post in 1978. She also was the first female representative to earn a spot on the front row in the house. That honor is reserved for those who have seniority in leadership.
After her death earlier this year, a caucus was held to pick her successor for the 2014 session. A young attorney, Casey Cox, also a Republican, will complete her term. He was sworn in to office during activities on organization day, and will be ready to take his spot as a House member when the short session convenes in early January.
The unusual ceremony honoring Pond included a concurrent resolution by the House, with the Senate concurring, Cherry says. A copy of the official resolution will be forwarded to her husband and children, who survive.
Pond represented House District 85. Cox, Ft. Wayne, will serve through 2014. His spot will be up for reelection in 2014.