Amid the tears that streamed down the faces of the several hundred fellow firefighters, friends and family of Martin McWilliams, there was some laughter when his lifelong friend Michael O'Brien delivered his eulogy yesterday morning.

O'Brien talked about McWilliams' inability to tell a joke without tripping over his words and inevitably admitting, "Aw, I messed it up." He talked about McWilliams' tendency to tackle a home project head- on, but ultimately completing only about 95 percent of it.

That was the Marty everyone knew - a selfless, funny man who followed in the footsteps of several relatives by joining the New York City Fire Department.

McWilliams' fiancee, Lisa Goldberg, gave birth to their first child, Sara McWilliams, five months ago. "He adored Sara," O'Brien said during the eulogy. "She gave him a focus and means of expression not available to him before." The affection with which relatives spoke about McWilliams was echoed in their words about his beloved cousin Stajk, a former Kings Park resident and one-time star pitcher for Kings Park High School who was once scouted by the Cincinnati Reds, according to another cousin to both, Jim Stajk.

"We're all shaken," said Stajk of Kings Park. "We're doing the best we can." More relatives will gather in Huntington today to honor the life and mourn the death of Collins, who worked on the 104th floor of Tower Two. Collins was the second cousin of Stajk and McWilliams, related through his maternal grandmother. "It's been absolutely devastating, but we've had a lot of mental and emotional support from friends and family," said sister Jennifer Collins-Hamel of Manhattan.

"Everybody who walked in had a joke to tell or something funny to tell about their experience with Tommy." Though not related by blood, relatives said their hearts were equally broken upon hearing that Dwyer had not escaped the collapse. "We're all a very close family," said Jane Bellini of Colorado, another relative. "We get together all the time."