Ambulance crews were called to Langwith Junction, near Shirebook, yesterday, Saturday, at 9.30am, after receiving reports of a couple with serious injuries.
When they arrived at a house on Station Road, they found the woman dead and her husband badly hurt.
He was rushed to hospital where he is being treated for ‘life-threatening injuries’.
The woman who died has been named locally as 86-year-old Freda Walker while her husband Kenneth, a former mayor of Bolsover, sat on Shirebrook Town Council, representing Shirebrook Langwith Ward.
Mr Walker, a retired mining safety inspector who celebrated his 88th birthday on Thursday, remains in intensive care with life-threatening injuries.
A dog walker, who passes through Station Road every Sunday, said: “They were very nice people.
“Kenneth used to be a local councillor heavily involved in the area.
“They were always a nice couple and ready to speak to you. I spoke to Mrs Walker regularly as I walk the dog through here – more so in the summer.
“I just knew them as a inviting and lovely couple.”
A neighbour said: “Ken and Freda were devoted to each other. This has shocked everyone who knew them.”
A tearful well-wisher, who was seen delivering flowers at the property, said: “He [Kenneth] worked in the pit for years. It is very sad.
“They were a lovely couple.
“They are in a dark area with their house being beside an alleyway.
“That’s where whoever broke-in came from I think. The back of the house is pitch black at night.”
A message on flowers from the same neighbour, said: “To the best friend anyone could ever have had in their lives, I shall miss you so much.
“I can’t believe this has happened to the nicest person on this earth.”