Thomas Colbert, 47, died in the street Monday after what police describe as a "minor physical altercation" with another man at the California Apartments.
Police have not released the name of the other subject involved in the altercation. An autopsy was performed Tuesday and police are waiting on an official ruling on the cause of death.
"He was a real sweet guy who was liked by everyone," said JoAnn Montes, Colbert's supervisor at the Cherokee County Workshop.
Colbert was slightly mentally disabled, Montes said, and had been a worker with the home for the mentally disabled for 26 years. He worked on outside crews, picking up litter and mowing.
Despite his disability, those who knew Colbert -- who lived in a motel in Lufkin -- said he was never sick and had always been healthy.
Montes said the idea that Colbert was in a fight was hard to believe.
"That's what surprised us," she said. "He was the type to go the other way."
Montes and others in Lufkin were shocked to hear of Colbert's death, which happened in Snyder while he was visiting his sister. It was just the second time in the past 26 years that Colbert had seen her, and he planned to stay for three weeks to visit.
One of his co-workers took him to the bus stop on Friday for the ride to Scurry County. His death came just a few days after his arrival.
"That's what blew our minds -- he just left Friday afternoon," Montes said. "We are freaked out."