SAN DIEGO — A beloved San Diego production events businesswoman was killed in a plane crash Sunday in the Seattle area.

Friends say Joanne Mera built Pacific Events Production from the ground up and ran it for more than 30 years. They say her death is a huge loss to San Diego.

“It was shocking. I couldn’t talk for a few minutes,” friend Matt Ramey said.

Disbelief and mourning for three close friends after hearing of the passing of Mera.

She was one of ten people believed to dead after a seaplane crashed near Seattle Sunday.

“To just lose her so suddenly, it hit me. It hit me yesterday. I was getting a haircut and I just sat in the car for like ten minutes and searched for photos and cried a little. She’s quite the woman,” friend Chris Doolittle said.

Friends and former bandmates Chris Doolittle, Brian Stockard and Matt Ramey say Mera was instrumental in shaping their careers.

“It felt like she was mom-ing us and she made sure we were making right decisions and helped us to keep the band together and do more events and to not be taken advantage of,” Doolittle said.

Word of the plane crash shook Stockard who used to work for Mera at Pacific Events Productions.

“I never had a boss that I also thought was really cool and that I also respected and I felt comfortable with, but I was also scared of all at the same time. She kind of encompassed it all,” Stockard said.

They are saddened by the loss of life that they say helped shaped the San Diego entertainment and events industry for more than 30 years. They say it was a life taken too soon.

“She made San Diego a special place. We’re definitely short one angel,” Ramey said.

One body was recovered from the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.