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Rep. Andy Barr remembers wife as devoted mother in touching eulogy

The Kentucky congressman told his daughters in a eulogy that their mother is "happy in heaven" because of her love for them.
/ Source: TODAY

Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr remembered his wife's love of being a mother to their two young daughters in a moving eulogy Monday after Eleanor Carol Barr's death at 39 six days earlier.

The Fayette County Coroner's Office ruled in a preliminary report that Eleanor Carol Barr, who went by Carol, died of natural causes from a heart condition, leaving Andy, 46, and their two daughters, Eleanor, 9, and Mary Clay, 7, mourning a life gone too soon.

Rep. Andy Barr and his wife, Carol
Rep. Andy Barr remembered his wife, Carol, as a devoted and loving mother to their two young daughters.Timothy D. Easley / AP

"Last Tuesday when I told the girls that Mommy had gone to heaven, little Mary Clay, the 7-year-old, said it best: 'Mommy gave us the best gift of all: her love,'" Rep. Barr said in his livestreamed eulogy during the funeral at Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

Barr sees the girls as a living reminder of the kindness embodied by his wife.

"Anytime you walk into a room, everybody will smile, just like they did with her, because people will see your mommy in you,'' he said.

"What I want you to always remember is that Mommy is happy in heaven because she loved you," he said. "She loved you more than anything else in the world."

The coroner's office listed her heart condition as mitral valve prolapse, also known as floppy valve syndrome, which people usually have from birth without any symptoms, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She died June 16 in the family's home.

Barr felt it was grimly fitting that it was her heart that was the cause of her death.

"She gave so much of her heart," he said. "She gave a whole lifetime of her heart in just 39 short years."

Much of that heart was dedicated to their two girls.

"It is what she cared about more than anything else in the world, and she did it well," Barr said. "To perfection."

One of Carol Barr's longtime friends, Nancy Bowman, also remembered her as a devoted mother.

"Eleanor and Mary Clay, your mommy loved being your mommy," Bowman said during the service.

Carol Barr had worked for Pfizer and as the executive director of Lexington’s Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.

The eulogy came a day after the couple would have celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary.

"She helped me whether I deserved it or not," Rep. Barr said as he choked back tears.

He left his girls with a promise of how they will remember her.

"So girls, here's the deal: Whenever we see a heart, we will see Mommy," he said.