Joan Anderson, 63, was driving a blue Skoda Octavia that was involved in a collision with a green Skoda Yeti on the B9160 on the Black Isle on Saturday.
A man and a woman who were in the Skoda Yeti suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Mrs Anderson, a teacher from the Culbokie area, was the wife of former BBC journalist Craig Anderson.
He said: "All of us are in complete shock at the moment.
"Joan and I were a couple for 43 years, since our student days in Aberdeen, and Joan was the most wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.
"She loved life and lived it to the full. Even at this early stage the many expressions of support and sympathy we have had from friends and colleagues prove how well loved and respected Joan was."
He added: "In her working life as a teacher she was dedicated and so well regarded professionally.
"And to our family and friends she was the dearest friend anyone could have wished for."
The family expressed their gratitude to dozens of volunteers on the Black Isle who searched for the couple's terrier dog, which ran off from the crash scene.
He was found after two days and has been reunited with the family.
The collision happened around 11.40am on Saturday near the junction between the B9160 and the A832, north of Rosemarkie.
Road Policing Sergeant Alan Henderson said: "Our thoughts remain with Mrs Anderson's family and friends.
"Our inquiries into the circumstances continue and anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting incident 1682 of September 21."