LEXINGTON, Ky. — Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr, the wife of U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, died unexpectedly in the family’s home Tuesday, according to Barr’s office. She was 39.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader Thursday, the Fayette County Coroner’s office said Carol Barr died at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday. The preliminary autopsy findings listed the cause of death as mitral valve prolapse, or floppy valve syndrome. That means the valve between the heart’s upper and lower left chambers doesn’t close properly.
“During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven,” Barr’s Chief of Staff Mary Rosado said. “Congressman Barr may release a more detailed statement at a later date, but right now is solely focused on being a father to his two beautiful daughters.”
Barr, who went by Carol, grew up in Georgetown and went to the University of Kentucky where she majored in communications and information. The couple married in 2008 and had two young girls. Barr worked for Pfizer and previously served as the executive director for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship in Lexington.
Milward Funeral Directors said visitation will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, 166 Market Street in Lexington, on Sunday, June 21, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more on this story, please go to Kentucky.com.
Barr released the following statement Wednesday regarding the sudden passing of his wife Carol on Tuesday evening:
“At this time of tremendous grief and pain, we ask for prayers for our beautiful, dear and precious Carol, the greatest, most selfless and giving wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend anyone could ever have. We also ask for love and prayers for Carol’s greatest legacy – her loving and devoted daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay – through whom Carol’s extraordinary life, high character and irrepressible spirit will continue. In this moment of profound grief and heartbreak, we are so grateful for the gift and blessing of Carol’s life, for her strong faith in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for the comfort of fond memories and her victory in heaven and for all those who have surrounded Carol’s family, the girls and I with beautiful expressions of love, compassion and sympathy.”
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles released the following statement Tuesday night:
“As a Scott County native, I have known Carol my entire life,” said Commissioner Quarles. “Carol was a valued member of our community, a wife, and, above all, a mother to two daughters. Every time I saw her, she had a smile on her face, which shined like the Kentucky sun. I mourn the loss of my friend and cannot imagine the level of grief Andy and his family are experiencing. My prayers are with Andy and his daughters during this time. I ask that all of Kentucky join me in praying for them.”
Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts issued the following statement Wednesday morning:
“I am saddened by the tragic passing of Carol Barr and my heartfelt prayers go out to Congressman Barr, his beautiful daughters and everyone that loved Carol. I pray that God will grant them peace that passes all understanding as they navigate this new path.”
Statement from Commerce Lexington:
“We are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Congressman Andy Barr’s wife, Carol. Well before Congressman Barr’s run for office, both Andy and Carol were always very engaged in our community, and each is a graduate of Commerce Lexington Inc.’s Leadership Lexington program – Andy in 2007 and Carol in 2010. A University of Kentucky graduate, Carol worked for more than 10 years with Pfizer Inc., and also spent two years serving as executive director of The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship. She was a beloved wife, mother and member of the Lexington community. Congressman Barr has always been there for the Central Kentucky business community, and the Commerce Lexington Inc. family wishes to extend its many thoughts and prayers to he and his family during this difficult time.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following remarks Wednesday on the Senate floor regarding the passing of Carol Leavell Barr:
“On behalf of the entire Kentucky delegation, all Kentuckians, and the entire United States Congress, I must begin this morning by expressing our deepest condolences to our colleague Representative Andy Barr and his family.
“His lovely wife Carol passed away suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday. She was only 39. She leaves behind her husband, their two beautiful young daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay, and an entire community that knew her, admired her and valued her many contributions.
“To meet Carol Barr was to instantly like her. Her warm personality filled the room and uplifted everybody. Her faith, her love of family, and her dedication to her community were evident.
“Through her own career and her work with Andy, she poured her time and talents into giving back to her neighbors in the Sixth District.
“We are so very sorry for our colleague’s loss. All of our prayers go out to Andy, to their girls, and to the entire Barr and Leavell families at this tremendously difficult hour.”