Media Center

Nov 5

New York local mourns member, son killed in Hurricane Sandy

Members of Local 1181-New York, NY, are mourning the loss of their brother, John K. Filipowicz, 51, who died with his son, John C., when Hurricane Sandy overtook his home on Staten Island. The father and son were found in the basement locked in an embrace in which the ATU member appeared to be trying to shield his son from harm.

Despite the danger, the elder Filipowicz had refused to leave the family home.  So, John C. decided to stay behind to look after his father against the wishes of his twin brother, Joseph, who urged him to evacuate.

“I’m not leaving daddy,” John said.

The older man’s brother, Neil, believes the two drowned. “They probably went down there to check things out, knowing my brother,” he said. “When that wall gave way, that water must have rushed in like a tidal wave... It came flying in like a tsunami.”

Neil admired his older brother. For decades, Neil said, their father had a family tradition of planning an annual Labor Day party, and in 1998, after his death, John felt it his duty to keep the tradition going.

Condolences can be sent at:

You can also help other members devastated Hurricane Sandy by making a contribution to the ATU Disaster Relief Fund. Mail a check to:

Amalgamated Transit Union
Disaster Relief Fund
5025 Wisconsin, Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC  20016
Attn: Lawrence J. Hanley

U.S. Contributors: Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent provided by law.