How Did Carol Barr Die? Wife Of Congressman Andy Barr Dead At 39

She has two young daughters.

How Did Carol Barr Die? Wife Of Congressman Andy Barr Dead At 39 Shot Stalker / Shutterstock

Representative Andy Barr of Kentucky announced this week that his wife Carol passed away suddenly in their home. Mrs. Barr was only 39 years old. 

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The couple had been married since 2008 and they have two young daughters together. Representative Barr was elected to Congress in 2013 and serves Kentucky's 6th District. Mrs. Barr was a Kentucky native herself and worked for Pfizer as well as serving on the University of Kentucky College of Information National Advisory Board.

How did Carol Barr die?

The coroner says it was a heart problem

Days after her death, the county corners office released a statement saying that she died due to mitral valve prolapse, more commonly known as floppy valve syndrome. "Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the flaps (leaflets) of the heart's mitral valve bulge (prolapse) like a parachute into the heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) as the heart contracts, " the Mayo Clinic website explains. It basically means there is an irregular formation on part of the heart that can affect the way blood flows through the organ. It's not usually life-threatening, but in rare cases, like with Barr, it can lead to death. 


She passed away unexpectedly at home. 

Mrs. Barr passed away at home in Lexington on June 16. For the moment, Representative Barr's office isn't sharing very many details about the sudden loss. “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 said. “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.”

Authorities were called to their home.

While we don't know much about the circumstances of her death, we do know the coroner visited their home in Lexington, presumably in response to her death on June 16. Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers was also at the family's home but he told reporters at the scene that it was a family situation and he would not share any more information. 


She was a native of Kentucky. 

Mrs. Barr grew up in Georgetown, KY. She attended the University of Kentucky where she majored in communications and information and went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry at Pfizer, In addition, she served as the executive director for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship in Lexington. She and her husband had been married for over 10 years at the time of her death and have two daughters together, Eleanor and Mary Clay. 



A post shared by Rep. Andy Barr (@repandybarr) on Dec 24, 2019 at 4:32pm PST

The Barr family in 2019. 


Her husband has been interested in politics for decades.

After a career in law, Andy Barr moved into public service in 2003 to work on the campaign and transition team for Governor Ernie Fletcher. He returned to the private sector until 2010, when he launched his first campaign for Congress against Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler. He lost that race by only a few hundred votes. He challenged Chandler again in 2012 and won the seat. He sits on the committees for Financial Services and Agriculture. He holds very conservative positions, including opposing abortion even in cases of rape or incest and he disputes the science on climate change. 

Her death comes as shock to all who knew her. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also from Kentucky, offered his condolences to his fellow lawmaker. "Her warmth filled whatever room she entered and her contributions made Kentucky a better place for all of us,” McConnell said in the statement. “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.”


Rand Paul, the other Kentucky Senator tweeted, "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."

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Condolences cross party lines.


While Representative Barr is a Republican, grief knows no political party, and Democrats as well as Republicans, rushed to offer their support this the Barr family. Amy McGrath, a military veteran who is currently running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate race in Kentucky tweeted, "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."

We extend our condolences to the Barr family during this very difficult time. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.