Family and friends say heartbreaking farewell to father and son who died while they held each other while Sandy flood water stormed into their home
- Father and son were covered with 12ft water within seconds of Sandy & # 39; s strike
- The son refused to leave his father's side despite the fact that he was warned to evacuate
- Deaths on Staten Island now until 19 after the superstorm
- Father's brother was a fireman during 9/11, but said & # 39; nothing compared & # 39; with this family loss
A tragic father and son who died side by side as the fierce flood of Superstorm Sandy stormed into their home, were buried together Monday in an emotional funeral.
John Filipowicz, from Staten Island, and his son – also known as John – were found to hold each other in their basements while protecting themselves against a flood that covered them in 12-foot water in seconds.
John Jr, 20, was found drowned in his father's arms after telling relatives that he would not leave his father.
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Heartbreak: Christine Filipowicz, pictured center, is comforted by her children Cali, 16, left and Joseph, right, while standing in front of the coffins of her husband and son
Salute: A marine veteran attracts attention because the coffins of John K. Filipowicz and his 20-year-old son, John C. Filipowicz, are performed in St. Charles Church on Staten Island
Solemn: embracing grieving when a family member in a limousine waits to drive to the cemetery after the funeral
Monday there was a service for the father and son at St Charles Church on Staten Island.
It was attended by dozens of mourners, including John Sr & # 39; s wife Christine and their surviving children Joseph – John Jr & # 39; s twin brother – and 16-year-old Cali.
DNAInfo reported that the two men were big fans of the New York Jets and were buried in the jerseys of their favorite players – Joe Klecko for John Sr. and Dustin Keller for John Jr.
Family members said the two have an & # 39; incredible bond & # 39; and would never have been divorced – in life or in death.
Blessing: a priest devotes holy water to the coffins after the funeral service
Final resting place: Christine Filipowicz watches American marines greet her husband's coffin during funeral services
John Sr., 51, remained behind to watch over the house, but his son refused to leave his side.
Among the mourning were John Sr & # 39; s wife Christine, and his two surviving children, Joseph, John Jr & # 39; s twins and 16-year-old Cali.
The deaths were one of the 19 fatalities on Staten Island due to Superstorm Sandy, more than any other New York city. The total American number of deaths is currently 110.
Tragedy: Funeral directors embrace men after they have been buried, who drowned together in the flood caused by Superstorm Sandy
Brother and uncle Neil Filipowicz are standing outside the house in Staten Island
Neil Filipowicz said the watermark was at least three meters high
Among the other victims were Connor and Brandon Moore, four and two years old, who were swept out of their mother's arms by a giant wave on the east coast of Staten Island.
The Filipowicz family lived on Fox Beach Avenue, one of the island's hardest hit streets.
Neil Filipowicz, 46, the brother of John Sr., told MailOnline that his brother decided to ignore warnings to evacuate after Hurricane Irene last year and a 1992 storm.
He said: & # 39; I spoke to Joseph and he said he was trying to let him leave that day. He was calling and telling John [Jr] leave the house. He said to him: & # 39; I'm not leaving Dad. & # 39;
& # 39; He was my stone & # 39 ;: Christine Filipowicz hugs a friend outside of her house
& # 39; He absolutely could not leave his father at home. It was a bond how it should be with your children, between a son and a father. They loved each other so much. They had an incredible bond. & # 39;
Neil, a retired New York City firefighter who served on 9/11, said the family was worried when they could not reach either father or son during the night of Monday night.
Neil went to their house at 7:30 the next day, looked around the house and saw his brother's keys and wallet on the table, but there was no sign of them.
John jr pictured with a friend
Neil, Christine and other family members then went to local hostels and when they found nothing, Neil went back to the house alone.
Neil said: & # 39; I crawled through a hole in the wall that made the water. I shone my flashlight from right to left and then I saw a hand to my left.
& # 39; I prayed it was a doll's hand, but I reached into the water and grabbed it and my cousin came upstairs.
& # 39; My brother came too, he had his arm around his back and protected him.
& # 39; I pulled them both on their shirts at the same time and a neighbor came to help me remove them and we put them on the side of the house until they were moved by the National Guard and the Medical Investigator.
& # 39; My cousin held my brother and my brother grabbed him in the chest as if they knew they were dying.
& # 39; My brother protected him. Their eyes were open. My brother looked intensely, as if he were still trying to fight the end and become the father and protect his son. My cousin was so scared.
& # 39; The waterline on this one was 10ft higher, but I think it must have been much higher. & # 39;
Neil said the two men were in the basement because they were checking things. & # 39;
Family drama: John Filipowicz Sr. and his son, John Filipowicz Jr. (right) were found buried under debris in the basement of their house
Tribute left outside the home in Staten Island, New York by John K Filipowicz and son John C Filipowicz who drowned in the basement during a flood caused by Superstorm Sandy.
The basement of the house where father and son were drowned when the storm struck
He added: & I know my brother had sandbags outside, he had used some expandable foam on the back door. No water came through.
& # 39; All the foam had to be cut away, he probably checked it and maybe he heard a crack in the structure, but once it got away, the pressure of the water, that pressure.
& # 39; Some cinder blocks are on the other side of the basement. To be pushed like that, they shot like [a] cannon. & # 39;
John Jr.: Family members said that father and son had a special bond
De Neis, who defied the tears, said he was serving as a fireman in New York City on 9/11, but that & # 39; is nothing comparable due to the proximity & # 39 ;.
Neighbors knew John the Elder as the & # 39; mayor & # 39; from the street because he took care of them all by helping the snow in the street in the winter.
They in turn referred to him by the family nickname, & # 39; Flip & # 39 ;. Neil, who paid tribute to his brother, said: “My brother was all about family. Even our friends were considered family, it was like an extended family.
& # 39; He was United States Marine from high school. He served in Greneda, then worked in the Corrections department of New York City and from there he retired and worked for a while for the Concrete Labor Union.
& # 39; He was a great family man, he loved his wife and children very much. In recent years he has been driving a bus for school children.
& # 39; He was a soccer coach, a basketball coach. He was also a school baseball coach and was a man who went to church, he was a regular guest in the Saint Catholic Church. & # 39;
Neil described John Jr. as a & # 39; prince & # 39; who & # 39; did everything for someone & # 39 ;.
He said: & # 39; He was the heir whose father was. He did everything right. He never had problems, he did everything right. He was dedicated to his girlfriend. He went to college and did fire tests, tried to improve himself and thought about becoming a nurse. & # 39;
Son John (left) refused to leave his father's side
John Filipowicz Jr. (back, right) pictured here with family members two years ago
Twin brothers: Joseph (right) urged John to leave the house, but John Jr. replied: & # 39; I am not leaving Dad & # 39;
VIDEO: Father and son were resting side by side