Kentucky Congressman's Wife & Mom of 2 Dies at Their Home: 'Stunned and Heartbroken'
In the wake of Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr's death, her husband "is solely focused on being a father to his two beautiful daughters"
Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr, the wife of Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr, died Tuesday night in the family’s home in Lexington, according to several news reports. She was 39.
The Republican congressman's office released a brief statement to The Lexington Herald-Leader confirming the news.
“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 told the paper Tuesday. “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.”
According to local TV station WKYT, the Fayette County coroner was called to the family's home as well as Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers to investigate the death of Barr's wife, who went by Carol.
The coroner's office said in a brief statement on Tuesday night that her manner of death was natural and an autopsy was pending.
"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," Rep. Barr, 46, said in a statement on Wednesday morning that was released by his office.
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Carol grew up in Georgetown, Kentucky, and went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky, according to the Herald-Leader.
There, she majored in communications and information and most recently worked as a health care representative for Pfizer. She previously served as the executive director for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship in Lexington.
The couple married in 2008 and have two young daughters: Eleanor and Mary Clay.
After news of Carol's death broke, condolences for the Barr family began pouring in on social media.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said he and his wife were “heartbroken" over the news.
"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," he wrote on Twitter.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement saying he and his wife, Elaine, were "stunned and heartbroken" by the news.
"[Carol's] warmth filled whatever room she entered and her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us," their statement read. "And to Eleanor and Mary Clay, Carol was a wonderful role model and constant love. We send out sincere condolences to Andy, their family and his staff at this terribly painful time."
Several other Kentucky politicians, including Amy McGrath, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Josh Hicks and Sen. Rand Paul also shared their condolences with the Barr family.