Councillor Colin Mackey, who represented Emsworth on Havant Borough Council, died aged 68 on Thursday.
The Conservative councillor, who lived in Queen Street, was elected on to the council in 2013.
He died suddenly following a heart attack, leaving behind a wife and three children.
His wife Diana said: ‘It was so sudden. We got him to QA Hospital but not fast enough.
‘He was a family lawyer. He just liked to help people, that’s what he did on the council too. He was always volunteering, he just wanted to help.’
Havant MP Alan Mak paid tribute to him.
He said: ‘Colin was an outstanding local councillor for Emsworth, a successful solicitor and devoted family man.
‘He was very active on the council championing his community, and very well respected and liked by everyone.
‘I enjoyed working with him, and we shall all miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family.’
Leader of Havant Borough Council Mike Cheshire also paid tribute to him.
Cllr Cheshire said: ‘Colin has been an extremely good colleague. He worked extremely hard for his residents in Emsworth.
‘As we move forward, he will be deeply missed and all of us at the council are shocked at the speed of his passing.
‘We will miss him dreadfully and we know that the people of Emsworth will be in mourning for him, as will everybody in the borough.’
Mr Mackey qualified as a solicitor in 1972 and joined Churchers Bolitho Way in 1977.
He was a partner of the firm in Cosham and head of the childcare department until December 2015, when he worked for the firm on a consultancy basis.
He was a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel since its inception and was highly experienced in dealing with all legal matters relating to child care and adoption.
There will now be a by-election in the Emsworth ward.
Details of Cllr Mackey’s funeral are yet to be arranged.