LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Andy Barr expressed “profound grief” Wednesday over the unexpected death of his 39-year-old wife at their home in Kentucky the night before.
Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr died of natural causes from a heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse, the Fayette County coroner’s office said in a preliminary autopsy report.
Barr died in Lexington, the Republican congressman’s chief of staff, Mary Rosado, said in a statement.
“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,” Barr’s statement said. He also asked for prayers for their two daughters.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement he and his wife are “stunned and heartbroken” by the news, and send their “sincere condolences to Andy, their family and his staff at this terribly painful time.”
Condolences for her passing flowed in through the night from other Kentucky politicians, including Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.
Barr, who went by Carol, grew up in the state, attended the University of Kentucky, and married Andy Barr in 2008. The couple went on to have two children. She had worked for Pfizer, and as the executive director of Lexington’s Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.
Barr represents Kentucky’s 6th District, which includes the cities of Lexington, Richmond and Frankfort.