Lance Farber, the Boulder grandfather of six killed in a forklift accident at the Brightstar gold mine near Laverton on Monday, would have celebrated his 40th wedding anniversary with wife Heather in August.
The couple had been together for 43 years after marrying in Wongan Hills, where Mr Farber grew up.
The 63-year-old was also planning his retirement after returning to work in 2012 after a serious heart attack and a quintuple bypass.
His youngest brother Ian yesterday described the "cruel irony" for his family who watched his steady recovery.
"He enjoyed his work and spoke of it quite often," Ian said.
"A couple of years ago he survived a massive heart attack and had to undergo a five-way bypass.
"But he was so keen to get back to work that it was only a few months off in the end.
"He enjoyed working for the company and wanted to be back with his mates."
Mr Farber, who also lived in Narrogin and Merredin as a railway worker, spent most of his life in the Goldfields.
He had a long stint at Leinster working at nickel mines with Western Mining Corporation.
His hobbies included the speedway where he had been a driver and pit mechanic over the years. He had passed on the same passion to his grandchildren.
"He just enjoyed life and the bush lifestyle - he was a real gentle soul," Ian said.
"He would like nothing better than sitting back at the end of the day to enjoy a quiet beer with his mates, just a typical Aussie bloke, really."
A funeral for Mr Farber, who is survived by his wife Heather, children Greg and Tania, siblings Ross, Dawn and Ian, and six grandchildren, is expected to be held next week.
Inspectors from the Department of Mines and Petroleum were yesterday continuing their investigations at the remote site.
Mr Farber's death was the fifth WA mining fatality in the past 10 months.