Carol Barr, the wife of U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), died “suddenly” on Tuesday, her family announced, according to local NBC affiliate WSAZ. She was 39.
The 39-year-old reportedly died at the family’s home in Lexington. An update on Wednesday revealed that her autopsy listed the cause of death as a heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse, WSAZ reported.
“High character and irrepressible spirit”
The congressman’s chief of staff shared the news in a statement requesting privacy for the Barr family.
“During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grief Mrs. Barr being called home to heaven,” Mary Rosado said, according to People magazine. “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.”
Rep. Barr soon issued a subsequent statement, calling his wife “the greatest, most selfless and giving wife, mother, daughter, sister anyone could ever have,” according to LEX18 in Lexington.
The congressman also requested prayers for his wife and her “greatest legacy — her loving and devoted daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay — through whom Carol’s extraordinary life, high character and irrepressible spirit will continue.”
Describing this time as a “moment of profound grief and heartbreak,” Barr said he took comfort in his wife’s “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.”
“Our hearts are heavy tonight”
Officials across the state expressed their condolences to the congressman, who has represented Kentucky’s 6th district since 2013, according to Fox News.
Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, said he and his wife were “heartbroken” by the news, and Republican Sen. Rand Paul shared a similar statement.
“Our hearts are heavy tonight,” Paul wrote, according to a report from the Associated Press. “Kelley and I offer our deepest condolences to Rep. Andy Barr, his two daughters, family, and friends. Please join us in praying for them during this incredibly difficult time.”
Carol Barr, whose full name is Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr, married Andy Barr in 2008, according to CBS News. She graduated from the University of Kentucky and went on to work for Pfizer and the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship in Lexington.
As her loved ones face life without her, public and private citizens of all stripes join in sending them thoughts and prayers.