Germanwings crash: Mother, daughter among 3 American victims

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Friends of Selke family: They were amazing, loving people 04:57

Story highlights

  • Third American killed on Germanwings flight identified as Robert Calvo
  • State Department says three Americans were on the plane
  • Co-workers, friends in shock at deaths of mother and daughter from Virginia

(CNN)They are being remembered as people who "meant so much to so many."

Yvonne Selke and her daughter, Emily, were aboard Germanwings Flight 9525 that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps. They, along with the other 148 people on board that flight, are presumed dead.
"I just keep saying over and over, it's surreal. You always see these things on the news and you think it's horrible, but you never know anyone involved," said Haley Holmes, a close friend of Emily Selke's.
    "I think what people need to know about them, and what people should know about them, is that they were two -- not two Americans on a plane, not a mother and daughter on a plane -- but Yvonne and Emily -- two amazing, loving people who left behind friends and family who love and miss them a lot," Holmes told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360��."
    Emily Selke had belonged to Gamma Sigma Sigma's Zeta chapter at Drexel University. She was a membership vice president while at the sorority and "an integral part of our growing chapter," according to the chapter's Facebook page.
    "She embodied the spirit of Gamma Sigma Sigma," the sorority said. "As a person and friend, Emily always put others before herself and cared deeply for all those in her life. Emily will be greatly missed by her fellow sisters of Zeta."
    A music industry major, Emily Selke graduated with honors from the Philadelphia university, according to the school. She then went on to work around Washington for Carr Workplaces, a company that offers office space, meeting rooms and virtual offices, company spokesman Robert Beach said.
    "We cherished Emily's work ethic, enthusiasm, humor and overall presence," said Beach, calling her "dedicated, helpful and always willing to go the extra mile."
    "Her genuine, bright smile and quick wit will be missed," he added.
    Yvonne Selke worked for Booz Allen Hamilton. Betty Thompson, an executive vice president with that consulting firm, described Yvonne as "a wonderful co-worker and a dedicated employee" in a statement to The Washington Post.
    Holmes said Yvonne Selke was "a lovely spirit to be around," fiercely loyal to the people she loved.
    "Our entire family is deeply saddened by the losses of Yvonne and Emily Selke. Two wonderful, caring, amazing people who meant so much to so many. At this difficult time we respectfully ask for privacy and your prayers," the Selke family said in a statement.
    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday that three Americans were on the plane.
    The third American was Robert Calvo, according to Desigual, the clothing company for which he worked for in Spain.