Freda Walker was found in her home along with her 88-year-old husband Kenneth by a neighbour on Saturday morning.
Ambulance crews dashed to Langwith Junction, after a neighbour raised the alarm at 9.30am and paramedics called police who launched a murder investigation.
Mr Walker, former chairman of Bolsover District Council, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The retired miner - who celebrated his 88th birthday last week - remains in a criticalcondition in hospital.
Pictures show armed police patrolling the village on Monday (17/1) as residents were urged to lock windows and doors while the killer was on the loose.
Floral tributes have been left outside the couple’s home as the community struggles to come to terms with the murder.
A card on a bunch of flowers read: “To the best friend anyone could ever have had in their lives.
“I shall miss you so much, I can’t believe this happened to the nicest person on this earth.”
Another card said: “To a lovely lady who would help anyone she could without hesitating. She will be missed.”
Shocked residents paid tribute to Mrs Walker, describing her as a "generous person with a warm spirit" who was known for her charity work.
One neighbour said: “Freda was the most generous person you could ever meet and had such a kind and warm spirit.
"The couple didn't have any children and I think helping others was her way of being a mother to those who were less fortunate.
“She worked with homeless charities and just wanted people to have a chance to make a life for themselves.
“The community here are in real shock. It’s so sad and an awful thing to happen to two pillars of their community.”
Last month, Mr Walker, who sits on Shirebrook Town Council, was awarded an honorary status for his service to Bolsover District Council.
A friend of Mr Walker said: "Everyone's numb with shock. Ken is a lovely man and was devoted to Freda.
"They didn't have children but gave all their time to helping others. Ken was still very active on the council and had no plans to retire.
"Freda was dedicated to her charity work and was passionate about helping rough sleepers."
Derbyshire Police Chief Superintendent Hayley Barnett said the couple suffered “horrific injuries” and said the force was “doing all we can to find those responsible”.
Bolsover District Council Leader, Coun Steve Fritchley, said: “This is shocking news. It is terrible when something like this happens, but it really hits home when it happens on your doorstep and to someone you know.
“It’s very upsetting and I was quite angry over the weekend. Ken and Freda were in their own home, a place where everyone deserves to be and feel safe, only to be attacked and ultimately bringing Freda’s life to a premature end.
“We have heard many people say ‘oh Ken and Freda, what a lovely couple’ and they really were. This has sent shockwaves through the local community."