FRANKFORT — Charlann Harting Carroll, the wife of former Kentucky governor and current state Sen. Julian Carroll of Frankfort, died Wednesday morning at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. She was 81.
Dave Cobb, an executive assistant to Julian Carroll, confirmed the death.
Gov. Steve Beshear said he and his wife, Jane, were saddened to learn of Charlann Carroll's death.
"Although she spent decades in the public eye as her husband served in the state legislature and the Governor's Mansion, she always remained graceful, approachable and deeply committed to her family," Beshear said.
The Carrolls had been married since July 22, 1951. They were in school together from second grade through high school graduation in McCracken County, and they had lived on their family farm in eastern Franklin County since 1984.
They had four children: Kenneth, Patrice, Bradley and Ellyn.
Ellyn, who was born June 27, 1975, was the first child born to a sitting governor who lived in the Governor's Mansion.
Bradley Carroll died in August 2011 in a crash in Frankfort. He was 47.
Cobb said Mrs. Carroll became ill at home Monday and was taken to Frankfort Regional Medical Center earlier this week. She was then transferred by helicopter to UK.
Cobb said she had been suffering with blood clots and gall bladder problems.
Arrangements will be handled by Harrod Brothers Funeral Home in Frankfort and will be announced later this week, he said.
Julian Carroll, 83, has been a state senator since January 2005. He was governor from Dec. 28, 1974, to Dec. 11, 1979. Before then, he was a lieutenant governor and a state representative.
Carroll once said his wife, who was at his side throughout his political career, "has been a stabilizing influence through the years and kept me from getting too highly regarded of myself."