Robin Wood, a 67-year-old resident of Salt Spring Island, was killed Tuesday during an apparent home invasion in the town of Melaque, south of Puerto Vallarta.
According to media reports, the retired mechanic had been at a concert and returned to the home of a friend, another B.C. man, when the attack happened.
Wolfgang Temmel, owner of Ganges Auto Marine, said he knew Wood for many years and was in "absolute shock" when he heard the tragic news while standing in a lineup at a bank.
"He was as flaky as a good pie crust but just adorable all the same. Very bright person. I don't think anybody disliked him," said Temmel who once employed Wood.
Temmel called Wood "a character" who was always pleasant, happy to see the people he knew, and would take life's difficulties in stride.
Temmel also called Wood a very good mechanic who because of his English accent had to frequently respond to questions about British cars.
"One of his quotes was 'why do people always think I like to work on English cars?'" said Temmel with a chuckle.
In fact, said Temmel, Wood wasn't fascinated with British cars.
Fellow Salt Spring Islander and mechanic Erik Lundstrom shared Temmel's characterization of Wood, saying his former co-worker was known for being upbeat.
"It was just his cheerful attitude, he was always optimistic in life, you know," said Lundstrom.
George Grams, an elected trustee with the Islands Trust, said he didn't know Wood but expects the killing to be a subject of discussion in the tight-knit community.
Grams said Melaque is very popular with islanders, and many locals travel to the Mexican city annually.
(The Canadian Press, Global, CKNW, NEWS1130)