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Carol Barr, wife of Rep. Andy Barr, passes away at home; coroner rules heart valve dysfunction


Carol Leavell Barr, the wife of U.S. Rep. Andy Barr passed away suddenly Tuesday at the family home in Lexington.


“During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven,” a statement released from Barr’s office said Tuesday night.  She was 39.

Andy and Carol Barr

The Fayette County Coroner’s office said Carol Barr died at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday. The preliminary autopsy findings listed the caused of death as mitral valve prolapse, or floppy valve syndrome, where the value between the heart’s upper and lower left chambers doesn’t close properly.


The Barrs were married in 2008.

Arrangements are pending.

“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,” Barr said in a statement released by his office on Wednesday. “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.”

Andy Barr is running for re-election in Tuesday’s primary.


Mac Brown, the chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, said “our hearts go out to the Barr family at this tragic news.


“While there are no words that can heal the pain of losing a loved one, we pray together that God will comfort Congressman Andy Barr, their daughters, and the entire family through this very difficult time,” Brown said.


Gov. Andy Beshear expressed condolences on Twitter.


”Britainy and I are 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.”


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also offered words of comfort to the Barr family.


“Elaine and I are stunned and heartbroken at the news of Carol’s passing. Her warmth filled whatever room she entered and her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us,” he wrote in an email. “And to Eleanor and Mary Clay, Carol was a wonderful role model and source of constant love. We send our sincere condolences to Andy, their family and his staff at this terribly painful time.”

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles also offered his condolences to the Barr family.

“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.”


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