Tributes roll in for Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Congressman Andy Barr’s wife, Carol, died unexpectedly Tuesday at the Barr family home.

She was 39. Since then, tributes have poured in from across the state paying tribute to her.

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The congressman said his wife’s greatest legacy may be their two daughters.

“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. 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.  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,” Congressman Barr said in a statement.

Carol Barr, who was 39, died of natural causes, according to Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn. She died of mitral Valve prolapse, which is known as floppy valve syndrome, Ginn said in a statement.

According to the University of Kentucky’s College of Communication and Information, Carol Barr worked in pharmaceuticals for Pfizer and was a University of Kentucky graduate. According to the college, she also spent two years serving as Executive Director of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.

Barr, a Republican, represents the state’s Sixth District.

In a statement Wednesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, paid tribute.

“On behalf of the entire Kentucky delegation, all Kentuckians, and the entire United States Congress, I must begin this morning by expressing our deepest condolences to our colleague Representative Andy Barr and his family,” McConnell said.

“His lovely wife Carol passed away suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday. She was only 39. She leaves behind her husband, their two beautiful young daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay, and an entire community that knew her, admired her, and valued her many contributions. To meet Carol Barr was to instantly like her. Her warm personality filled the room and uplifted everybody. Her faith, her love of family, and her dedication to her community were evident.

“Through her own career and her work with Andy, she poured her time and talents into giving back to her neighbors in the Sixth District. We are so very sorry for our colleague’s loss. All of our prayers go out to Andy, to their girls, and to the entire Barr and Leavell families at this tremendously difficult hour,” McConnell concluded.

Several people are sharing condolences with the Barr family.

“Our hearts are saddened here in Richmond at the sudden and heartbreaking passing of Carol Barr. We are praying for Congressman Barr and his family, and for all that knew and loved Carol. The City of Richmond appreciates Congressman Barr’s service and friendship over the years and we ask that you keep him and his daughters in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate this unimaginable time,” said Richmond Mayor Robert Blythe.

“We are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Congressman Andy Barr’s wife, Carol.  Well before Congressman Barr’s run for office, both Andy and Carol were always very engaged in our community, and each is a graduate of Commerce Lexington Inc.’s Leadership Lexington program – Andy in 2007 and Carol in 2010.  A University of Kentucky graduate, Carol worked for more than ten years with Pfizer, Inc., and also spent two years serving as executive director of The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.  She was a beloved wife, mother and member of the Lexington community.   Congressman Barr has always been there for the Central Kentucky business community, and the Commerce Lexington Inc. family wishes to extend its many thoughts and prayers to he and his family during this difficult time,” Commerce Lexington said in a statement.

“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,” Governor Andy Beshear wrote.

“My heart goes out to Andy on the sudden passing of his beautiful wife and wonderful mother to their two girls, Carol.  My family and I ask all Kentuckians to extend your heartfelt sympathy to the Barr and Leavell families, not only now but in the days and weeks to come,” Auditor Mike Harmon wrote.

“Sending condolences to Rep. Andy Barr on the sudden passing of his wife, Carol. Join me in sending prayers and love to the entire family,” former Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes wrote on Twitter. 

“I want to express my deepest condolences to Congressman Barr and his entire family for their loss. Thoughts and prayers from me and my entire family are with you at this incredibly difficult time,” Ben Self, Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, wrote.

“My prayers are with Rep. Andy Barr, his children, and his entire family. This is an unimaginable loss. While we may disagree politically, we’re both family men and I can’t fathom the pain he must be experiencing right now,” Josh Hicks, a Democrat planning to run against the congressman, wrote. 

“Heartbroken to learn of Carol Barr’s passing. Carol was a wonderful mother and wife, and she was beloved by all who knew her. She will be deeply missed. My heartfelt prayers are with Andy, their children, and their entire family as they mourn this unspeakable loss,” Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron wrote.

“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. 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,” U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote.

“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. He was right on both. My heart breaks for Carol, Andy and their beautiful family,” Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams wrote.

“The ACLU-KY family is sending its most sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to Rep. Andy Barr, his daughters, and their extended family,” The ACLU of Kentucky wrote. 

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Carol Barr. Our prayers are with Rep. Andy Barr, and their daughters Eleanor and Mary Clay,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

“I am shocked and so sad to hear of the unexpected passing of Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr. Please join me in keeping Andy, their daughters, and all of their family and friends in our prayers during this heartbreaking time,” Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said.

“Our hearts are heavy tonight. 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,” Senator Rand Paul said.

Cynthia & I extend our deepest condolences to our friend Rep. Andy Barr & his sweet daughters. 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 & our state. Unexpected tragedies of this measure are difficult to understand, but we pray for peace and strength for the entire Barr family,” Rep. Hal Rogers said. 

“Dawn and I are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend, Carol Barr. She was a loving mother, supportive wife, and an inspiration to those who knew her. Our deepest sympathy and prayers to Rep. Barr, her daughters, and family,” State Senator Ralph Alvarado said.

“Beth and I are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Carol Barr. I have known Carol and her family for years, and I always enjoyed spending time with her and Andy.Carol was a devoted mother to their two daughters and a lifelong Kentuckian. Please join Beth and me in praying for the Barr family as they mourn this devastating loss,” Rep. Brett Guthrie wrote.

“Please join us in saying a prayer for Congressman Andy Barr over the sudden and heartbreaking loss tonight of his wife, Carol. Our deepest condolences to him, his two young daughters and entire family,” the Kentucky Distillers’ Association wrote. 

“We are saddened tonight to learn of the unexpected passing of Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr. Our condolences go to the congressman and his young daughters, as well as their other family and friends,” Kentucky Democrats wrote.

“My heart goes out to my friend Andy Barr, and his two wonderful daughters, over the passing of his wife Carol. Thoughts and prayers to Andy and the entire Barr & Leavell families,” State Representative David Meade wrote.

TJ and I are devastated to learn of the passing of my friend and colleague Rep. Andy Barr’s wife Carol. Our prayers go out to Andy and his beautiful daughters during this unimaginable time,” Rep. James Comer wrote. 

“We are heartbroken by the passing of our friend Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr. They attended our wedding. The memories I have of her are of kindness, warmth, understanding, & encouragement. She is deeply missed. Praying for Andy and their two precious, young daughters,” Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball wrote.

“My heart goes out to Andy and his two daughters over the tragic loss of Carol. They are in our prayers. While we were political competitors, we are Kentuckians first. I hope they feel the love of many and we wish him great strength during this very trying time,” former political challenger Amy McGrath wrote.

“My prayers are with Rep. Andy Barr, his children, and his entire family. This is an unimaginable loss. While we may disagree politically, we’re both family men and I can’t fathom the pain he must be experiencing right now,” Josh Hicks wrote. Hicks intends to challenge Barr for his seat in congress. 

“As a Scott County native, I have known Carol my entire life. Every time I saw her, she had a smile on her face, which shined like the sun. I mourn the loss of my friend. My prayers are with Andy & his family during this time. I ask that all of Kentucky join me in praying for them,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

 

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!