Featherston is in mourning for Glen Jones, the 40-year-old supermarket worker who died after a violent assault on him at his home soon after midnight, Friday.
South Wairarapa mayor Adrienne Staples said she knew Mr Jones well through being a customer at the Trust House-owned Four Square store in Featherston and had always found him to be a " nice, polite, friendly man".
Mrs Staples said it seemed " so unfair" that he died by violence and that the town was reeling under a cloak of sadness.
His death was the third in violent circumstances in just over nine years.
The first was that of little Coral Burrows, who was murdered by her step-father Steven Williams in September 2003 and Paul Irons who was savagely beaten to death on the street in October, 2009.
Mrs Staples said whereas some people might take that to mean Featherston had a bad record the truth was the town was a good one.
"The majority of Featherston people are ordinary, working class folk who just want to get on with their lives," she said.
Those sentiments were echoed by long-standing Featherston businessman and former district councillor Brian Adamson.
Mr Adamson said Mr Jones lived within a stone's throw of his service station and was a customer.
"I saw him practically every day as he walked to work and he was a cheerful sort of guy who would give you a wave.
"His death has flattened the town, really."
Both Mr Adamson and Mrs Staples plan to attend Mr Jones' funeral.
The dead man lived alone in his flat on Fitzherbert St and was the son of Sue and Dave Jones, who live on a lifestyle block in the Boar Bush Gully area of Featherston.
Mrs Jones has been prominent for her work with St John.
Some in town spoke of Glen Jones as being a battler, who had survived a childhood health set-back that apparently left him with a surgically implanted metal plate in his head.
They said it was testament to his character he had never traded on his health issues and had remained in work all his adult life.