Son mourns parents who died in Surfside condo collapse: 'We were always laughing'

surfside condo
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By , KYW Newsradio

"Warm, kind people, funny people. We were always laughing."

That is how the son of a couple from Philadelphia who died in the Surfside, Florida condominium collapse is remembering his mom and dad.

Jonathan Epstein said that no matter where Bonnie and David Epstein were living, Philly always had a special place in their heart.

He said that when he was growing up, his parents were more popular with his friends than him. He joked that his buddies would come over to his house to hang out with them instead of him.

In an interview with KYW Newsradio broadcast partner NBC10, Jonathan recalled his last text message exchange with Bonnie, before she and David died in the condo collapse.

"I sent her a Paul McCartney song that I thought was cool. That was the last thing we talked about," Johnathan added.

He said shortly after that exchange, he saw a CNN alert that said a building had collapsed in North Miami.

So he texted them.

"Then the message went from blue to green in iMessage when it doesn’t get through, so I knew something was up," Johnathan, 26, said.

"Then I actually clicked the story and saw it was their building."

He said Bonnie, who went to Temple University, and David, who attended Penn, had lived in the Bucks County township of Holland for more than 20 years after growing up in Northeast Philly. He described David as a "big Eagles guy."

They were recently splitting time between homes in Surfside and in Brooklyn, but their hearts remained in the Delaware Valley.

"They never lost the Philly accent. Lots of ordering 'wooder,' and people wouldn’t understand. Philly was definitely home for them," Jonathan said.

"One of my favorite things to do with them was to walk around Philly, go into the city and hear their stories," he said.

Jonathan called himself fortunate that the bodies of his parents, who lived on the ninth floor, were found.

"It’s tough to say, but I didn’t have any hope here," he said.

"I knew they were on the ninth floor of the part that collapsed. I knew this was