A PHILADELPHIA CEO. A Naval Academy midshipman. A digital storyteller. A New York City financier.
All travelers. All doers. All believers in something bigger than themselves.
And all perished aboard Amtrak Train 188 when it derailed Tuesday night in Frankford.
Of the seven people confirmed dead out of the 243 passengers on the train, by last night four had been identified: Philadelphia CEO Rachel Jacobs, 39; Naval Academy midshipman Jason Zemser, 20; Associated Press video-software architect Jim Gaines, 48; and Wells Fargo senior vice president Abid Gilani, 55.
Many more remained missing. Even yesterday, officials could not say how many passengers remained unaccounted for.
Among the missing was 13-year-old Marc Gildersleeve's dad, Bob Gildersleeve Jr. The boy stood outside the Marriott at 12th and Market streets in Center City yesterday, where the families of the missing gathered. He clutched a creased piece of paper with his missing father's photo on it.
"Please help me find my dad," he said of his father, who is from Elkridge, Md., and had been en route to New York on a business trip.
Several people looking for loved ones who spoke with the Daily News said a hot-line number that had been set up for victims' families was unhelpful, at best.
In yesterday's early hours, Jacobs' family held out hope that she had survived, but hope soon turned to heartbreak and last night, her family released a statement confirming her passing.
"This is an unthinkable tragedy. Rachel was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend. She was devoted to her family, her community and the pursuit of social justice," the statement read. "We cannot imagine life without her."
Jacobs, a native of the Detroit suburbs, lived in Manhattan with her husband, Todd Waldman, and 2-year-old son, Jacob. She became the CEO of Philadelphia-based ApprenNet, an online learning startup, in March.
She was also the founder and chairwoman of Detroit Nation, a nonprofit that works to connect Detroit ex-pats with organizations in need of support in Detroit.
"It was her way to give people from the area a way to help the city recover," said a friend, who asked not to be identified.
A Swarthmore College graduate with a master's degree from Columbia, Jacobs spent time in central Asia working in microfinance with Mercy Corps, an organization her friend said was "like the Peace Corps for MBAs."
"If you look at her whole resume, it's about trying to help, trying to improve the world and making a contribution," the friend said. "She was one of those friends that always showed up."
Gaines, a father of two from Plainsboro, N.J., was a "strikingly kind person" with a "giant heart," said Paul Caluori, global director of AP digital services in Cranbury, N.J.
"If you hadn't seen him in a few days, he would hug you and ask about you and how your kids were doing," Caluori said.
Gaines was a "star" at the AP and employees were in shock yesterday, Caluori said. Gaines, a video specialist, had been in D.C. on Tuesday and was on his way home when the train derailed.
"The mood is somber. It's a huge loss. A lot of people will miss him terribly," Caluori said. "We are all just crushed."
Zemser, 20, was a sophomore at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he played on the school's sprint football team. A native of Rockaway Beach, N.Y., Zemser was on his way home when he died.
In a statement released to the Yeshiva World News, Zemser's parents said he was an only child, valedictorian of his high school class and "community-minded."
"This tragedy has shocked us in the worst way," they wrote.
Gilani was a senior vice president for Wells Fargo's Hospitality Finance Group based in New York City. His previous jobs in finance took him across North America, from Calgary and Toronto to San Francisco.
In a statement, a Wells Fargo spokesman said: "It is with great sadness that Wells Fargo confirms that Abid Gilani, a valued member of our Commercial Real Estate division, has passed away. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by this tragedy."