Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr’s wife Carol has died ‘suddenly’ at their family home.
Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr, known to friends and family as Carol, was just 39 years old when she passed away at the family’s Lexington property on Tuesday.
Authorities have not yet revealed a cause of death and it is not know whether the couple’s two young daughters, Eleanor and Mary Clay, were at home when she passed away.
Husband Andy Barr, 49, who married Carol in 2008, spoke of his grief in a statement issued by his chief of staff.
Carol Barr is seen above in a family photo with her two daughters, Eleanor and Mary Clay, and husband Andy. The 39-year-old died at her family home in Lexington, a statement issued by Barr’s chief of staff confirmed
‘Congressman Andy Barr’s wife Carol passed away suddenly tonight at the family home in Lexington,’ a statement from Mary Rosado read.
‘During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven.
‘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’, Rosado’s statement continued.
Barr, who is a Republican, has served as the US representative for Kentucky’s 6th congressional district since 2013.
Carol grew up in Georgetown and went to the University of Kentucky where she majored in communications and information.
Andy Barr is congratulated by wife Carol Barr after unseating Ben Chandler for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in Lexington, Kentucky in November 2012
She was a healthcare representative for Pfizer, having previously worked as executive director for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.
On Tuesday the Fayette County coroner’s van was seen outside the family home on Woodspoint Road near Fontaine Road.
As news spread of Carol’s death spread, dozens of tributes from Barr’s colleagues began pouring in online.
US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said that Carol’s ‘warmth filled whatever room she entered and her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us.’
Barr, who is a Republican, has served as the US representative for Kentucky’s 6th congressional district since 2013
Jim Gray, former mayor of Lexington and current Secretary of Transportation, described Carol as ‘loving, caring and compassionate’, adding that ‘Her smile and spirit were irrepressible and her life represented devotion to family and friends and the broader community she embraced and touched each day.’
Governor of Kentucky Andy Beshear said he and his wife were ‘heartbroken for U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and his family tonight at the sad news of the unexpected passing of the congressman’s wife, Carol. We are praying for the Barr family’.
Congressman Hal Rogers, who serves as US Representative for Kentucky’s 5th District, said: ‘Carol was always a joy to be around. She had a smile that lit up every room, radiating with the love she had for her family and our Commonwealth.
‘Unexpected tragedies of this measure are difficult to understand, but we pray for peace and strength for the entire Barr family’.
The Kentucky State Majority also offered their thoughts and prayers to Barr and his family, in light of the ‘unexpected and heartbreaking news’ of Carol’s death,
‘We hope the people of Kentucky join us in praying for Congressman Barr, his two young daughters, their family and loved ones as they navigate this incredibly difficult time.’
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams shared on Twitter his memory of when Barr first told him about meeting Carol, whom he described as an ‘extraordinary woman’.
‘I remember the day years ago when my friend Andy Barr told me about the extraordinary woman he’d met, and how he thought she was the one,’ Adams wrote. ‘He was right on both. My heart breaks for Carol, Andy and their beautiful family.’