Dorothy Bowyer, 77, was found dead in her home on February 14 along with a dog who also died following an incident at the property.
William Blunsdon, 25, was arrested and charged with murder and a criminal damage offence the following day.
He has since been remanded into custody to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on March 15 after a brief appearance at South Derbyshire Magistrates Court on Saturday.
Ann Kenyan, 69, of New Mills, worked with Dorothy for eight years at Swizzels sweets factory and described her as ‘a nice person’ who ‘nobody had a bad word to say about’.
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She said: “It’s a big shock - when we found out this was Dorothy, I said ‘oh God I hope not.”
A neighbour living nearby to the home Dorothy shared with husband Malcolm on Western Lane said she had known her for more than 40 years and ‘never had a wrong word with her’.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “All I can say is they were good neighbours - she brought all her children up here.
“It’s absolutely dreadful and awful - we’ve lived here a long time and never known anything like this in the village.”
The Reverend John Hudghton, of Buxworth’s St James’ Church, said: “She was loved by the community and a very nice person.
“This is a tragedy which has shocked Buxworth to its very core.
“The community will rally round and give all the support it can - our love and prayers go to Malcolm and all the family.”
A candle remains lit at the church for Dorothy.