Te Puke-born Peter Melgren, 59, who has been described by one local mourner as an "events organiser supremo", died at his Bethlehem home at 6.30am yesterday.
His widow Troye said her husband's death came as a huge shock to her and the family.
"We still can't believe it. This was so unexpected. Peter and I would have celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on March 26. He was an awesome husband and father, and an awesome person in general.
Peter was always very enthusiastic and passionate about this city and he worked extremely hard and tirelessly to bring more vitality to the city.
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"Peter's passing is a huge loss to our whole family."
The couple first met about 29 years ago while both working for the council, she said
Mrs Melgren, nee Fraser, was working in the accounts section at Tauranga City Council and her future husband was working in a communications role. The couple have two children Chonny (Chontelle), 23, and 19-year-old Tom.
Mr Melgren's father-in-law Keith Fraser said: "Peter was a very much loved and respected member of the Fraser family. He was always the first person to offer to help, when help was needed by anyone. Peter's death has left a huge hole in our family."
Mr Melgren is also survived by his two brothers Philip and John.
He was an awesome husband and father, and an awesome person in general.
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It is a double tragedy for the Melgren family after younger brother Simon, 56, died in 2014 after being crushed between two trucks at his Henderson workplace.
Mr Melgren worked for Tauranga City Council in various roles for about 30 years, and took over the Mount Mainstreet manager's role in 2014.
Mayor Stuart Crosby was shocked to learn of Mr Melgren's death.
"I have known Peter since we went to school together at Te Puke High between 1970 and 1974. We were not only classmates but knocked around together as teenagers, played representative hockey together, and had a heck of a lot of fun together. We remained acquaintances ever since."
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During his time with the council Mr Melgren was the support person for former mayor Noel Pope, and later he moved into the role as city events manager.
"Peter was known for his ability to make events happen on a shoe-string budget, and also for making a dollar go a long way when it came to events.
"Peter was always very enthusiastic and passionate about this city and he worked extremely hard and tirelessly to bring more vitality to the city.
"Peter put his heart and soul into everything he did. He was a really likeable guy, a cool guy, who was a very loyal, genuine person, and my heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and children."
Peter's greatest strength was his willingness to help everyone that he came into contact with and he made their day a little better by doing so.
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Mount Mainstreet Association board chairwoman Jane Debenham said the board was "sad to be here in the most beautiful place in the world, knowing that our dear friend and colleague, Peter Melgren, is no longer with us".
"Peter relished his role of Mount Mainstreet manager, developing and growing the interest in Mount Maunganui Mainstreet with great vigour and insight. His passion and enthusiasm was infectious, as was his laugh, which was frequently displayed at our monthly meetings. Peter's greatest strength was his willingness to help everyone that he came into contact with and he made their day a little better by doing so. Our thoughts are with his family at this time and we will strive to continue with Peter's vision for Mount Maunganui."
Owner of Mount Maunganui business Artastic Mark Rundell said he had known Mr Melgren for only two-and-a-half years, but they had spent time almost every day talking about how to make the Mount 'the' place to come.
"Peter was a very genuine person, and honest as the day is long. Because of all his years of events experience and contacts he was able to open doors closed to others. He was very passionate about making a difference in the community he loved, and Peter did that in spades. He will be deeply missed," Mr Rundell said.
Former manager of the council's venues and events team, Dale Henderson said he had known Mr Melgren since they first worked together in 1988, and was brought to tears when told of his death.
"Peter was an amazing guy. In the events industry he was well known for making something out of nothing and his ability to get people working together and bringing them all on to the same page. I have received calls from all of the country in the events scene and Peter was well loved and highly respected. It's so sad."
*A funeral service will be held at Baycourt from 3pm on Tuesday.