Joseph Sadowski was a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan who loved to watch the NFL on Sundays surrounded by his family.
The 7th grader played for the Plainview Jayhawks football team of the Nassau Suffolk Football League. He proudly wore the uniform No. 8.
"I think he wanted to be a little different than all the kids who were Jets and Giants fans," said Joseph's aunt, Diane Assemi. "And he liked a couple of guys on the Steelers."
A battler on the football field and a kid who liked to make others happy, Joseph lost his fight with Leukemia on Monday. He was 13. He will be buried Friday beside the grave of the grandfather he never met.
"He loved his video games, and he loved to play the comedian with his friends, Assemi said Wednesday. "He was always trying to make people laugh."
The young man had many interests. He played often with his 12 other cousins and frequently went camping with his aunt Jennifer's family, Assemi said.
His favorite athletes were skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, Miami Heat basketball players Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, and enjoyed the rap music of Jay Z and Eminem.
His favorite movie was "You Got Served," and he liked to watch the TV shows "Jersey Shore and "Rob Dyrdeks Fantasy Factory."
His favorite video game: "Minecraft; his favorite color was purple.
The young man was preparing to leave for a doctor's appointment when he suddenly collapsed at home, Assemi said. Joseph had been battling leukemia.
Born in Islip, Joseph is the son of Christina and Thomas Sadowski, who moved to Plainview about eight years ago. Joseph is also survived by his older brother, Brian Gregg, 17, a senior, and his little brother, Tommy, 9, a student at Old Bethpage Elementary.
Other survivors include grandparents Margaret Sadowski and Henry and Jayne Lopez and aunts and uncles Joseph and Mary Anne Sadowski, Kevin and Maureen Sadowski, Diane and Reza Assemi, Jennifer Marriott, Michele Lopez and Michael Lopez.
The calling hours will be held at the Vernon C. Wagner Funeral Home in Hicksville Thursday from 7-9 p.m. and Friday 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at in Plainview on Saturday at 9:30 am.
Following the funeral Mass, Joseph will be buried at at St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale, next to his grandfather, who also was named Joseph.
His grandfather, a construction worker, had five children and died before meeting his grandson.
"His family will definitely miss his smile," Assemi said. "He was taken too soon. Now he is in the arms of the grandfather he never met."