Jon “Cince” Cincebeaux


Irondequoit NY:  Husband, Father, Coach.  Jon Cincebeaux (Cincebox) was born in 1936 in Endicott NY and grew up in Binghamton, NY. He died peacefully at the Leo Center for Caring in Rochester, on October 28, 2016, at almost 80 years of age. Jon was the rock for his family, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him but his legacy lives on in his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, he loved them all so much.

Jon was pre–deceased by his parents Warren and Rowena Moore Cincebox. After genealogy research he changed his name to the original form. Survivors include his wife, Helene Baine, Syracuse U. cheerleader, also SU class of ’59 and his wife for 57 years; sons Charles Jon Cincebox, Syracuse NY, and Christopher Mark Cincebeaux, San Anselmo CA, his wife Jill Howry; grandchildren Emily, Madeline and Tyler; his sister Sandra Cincebox, Binghamton NY, and brother Thomas Cincebox, Horseheads, NY plus his five nieces and nephews: Cindy Doyle, Lori Caulfield, Cathi Klan, William and Tommy Cincebox and their children. In accord with Jon’s wishes, no ceremony was held but a Celebration of Life will take place in the spring for family and friends.

Handsome and charming Jon was often compared to Rock Hudson, they looked so much alike. He loved music – and loved to sing and most of all he loved sports, especially basketball. When he grew tall in junior high, eventually 6’7″, the coach recruited him for the JV team and he ended up starring for Binghamton Central H. S. on the Fabulous Five team of 1954-55 coached by super coach Art Sharpsteen.

Jon was recruited by Duke University and Syracuse. He decided to stay close to home and played on the Syracuse U. freshman basketball team his first year, as required back then, moving to the Varsity team as a sophomore. He starred on Syracuse U’s first NCAA Tournament team as a sophomore and was named honorable mention All American in his junior and senior years scoring over 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career, remarkable considering he played in only 79 games whereas Rony Seikaly who broke his record played in 129 games.

As a senior Jon was selected for the East All Star and North-South All Star teams. His rebounding record at Syracuse U. still stands 56 years later as he averaged 16.4 rebounds for a season, and 14.6 rebounds for his career. He ranked 5th in the country behind two Hall of Fame players Wilt Chamberlin and Oscar Robertson.

Jon found his wife at Syracuse U. It was a story book romance. Helene Baine had kept his picture from the high school All State basketball team and wished she could meet him. Hopes were raised when she was a freshman cheerleader at SU but she didn’t catch his eye until they were juniors when he asked one of the male cheerleaders to set up a date. She said no blind dates but when she heard who it was – bingo. They had their first date on Christmas Eve and Jon met both sides of her family. It was a good connection as the first three games that they dated Jon scored 29 points at each one! They shared fond memories of studying in the SU library, topped off with cheesecake on Marshall Street and visits to SU’s famed kissing bench. Jon graduated from Syracuse U. in 1959 with a B. S. in Sociology and Math.

Jon was drafted 21st in the NBA draft by the Syracuse Nationals. He played semi-pro basketball for the Tuck Tapers in New York for 2 years and then a year for the pro Pittsburgh Rens American Basketball League team with Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins. He continued to play with a broken nose but an errant elbow broke his jaw, ending his Pro career. Unlike the superstars who earn millions today, he earned the sum of $10,000 for the year which ceased when he became injured. A fond memory was a scrimmage against the Boston Celtics which the Rens won!

A memorable experience occurred when the team stopped for dinner at a restaurant in the Carolinas. Jon saw a sign on the door, “whites only” and it embarrassed him for his teammates so he stood in front blocking it as the team filed in. The owner called the police.  In a unique twist, Jon coached current SU coach Jim Boeheim in the Eastern League where Jim averaged 32 points a game for the Scranton Miners.

In 1979 Jon was awarded the prestigious Syracuse University alumni award, the Victor A. Hanson Medal of Excellence. This honor is given annually by the Syracuse University Hardwood Club to an individual who made outstanding contributions to college basketball. The award is named after Vic Hanson, the legendary basketball and football star for the Orangemen in the 1920s.

Jon had good memories of playing with Jim Brown as a sophomore on the Syracuse U. basketball team along with Vinnie Cohen and Manny Breland and was a good friend with Roosevelt Bouie, a Syracuse star center from Kendall NY. Jon was a counselor at Dolph Schayes summer basketball camps and recalled playing one-on-one with the basketball great.

Involved in sales for his working career, Jon re-located to Rochester NY in the mid 1960s and especially enjoyed conducting school fund raising with QSP, a subsidiary of Reader’s Digest. He liked motivating and challenging the students at many Rochester area schools from Aquinas to St. Joseph’s. He was inspired by QSP colleagues and best friends – John Jones of Virginia, Jerry Wingen of New England and Bill Howell, Rochester. A natural born coach, he led his son Chris’ 5th grade basketball team to a championship and coached Chuck’s baseball team to a perfect season.

Jon competed in the first Gus Macker Basketball Tournament in Rochester on a team with Charles Schiano and former SU player Pete Chudy – they won the championship. He later coached his niece Renee Walluk Burslem’s team to finish second in this event.

A few months after arriving in Rochester the Cincebeaux family moved to Chatham Gardens in the inner city shortly after the riots that took place there. It was the next best thing to the Peace Corps. The couple and their children took part in social and athletic events at the Baden Street Settlement House prior to moving to West Irondequoit a few years later.

Jon loved classic cars and had many beginning with a 57 yellow Chevy convertible with fins, to the 62 triple white TBird with a hard top that folded to make a convertible, a Lincoln Mark 8, a white Corvette and later a red one, a baby blue Mustang convertible he bought for his wife, and the showiest of all a yellow TR3 sports car.

He was an old movies buff, his hero was John Wayne and he especially enjoyed WWII battle films. He and his wife liked foreign films particularly ones from Korea and Japan.  Jon loved animals – from the chipmunks that entertained him in the garden to his big six-toed rescue cat, Mischief, and the doe who came to visit every day for her apple bringing her spotted fawns Bambi 1 and Bambi 2 along.

According to Jon’s wishes no ceremony was held but a Celebration of Life will take place in the spring for Jon’s extended family and friends.

The family is grateful to the Visiting Nurse Hospice, a partnership with St Anne’s Community at the Leo Center For Caring where Jon spent his final days. The Visiting Nurse Hospice address is 2180 Empire Blvd. Webster NY 14580.


10 Condolences

  1. Louise Segursky on November 20, 2016 at 9:08 am

    My deepest sympathy and best regards to Helene and family.

  2. Joy E. Kovalycsik on November 20, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Dear Helene and Family: Please accept my sincere condolences upon your loss and know all are in my thoughts during these difficult days.

  3. Kenneth Kovac on November 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Condolences. Wisconsin Historical Society.

  4. Sharon Burgess on November 21, 2016 at 2:53 am

    Dear Helene –

    My condolences on the loss of your husband. He sounds like he was a wonderful man.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sharon Burgess ( the Tomcal researcher)
    Grand Haven, Michigan (formerly of Chesaning)

  5. Benjamin Buell on November 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I only just saw this today. Hope you’re all well and sorry for your loss.

  6. Helaine McMenomy on November 22, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Dear Helene,

    I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but many years ago we worked together for awhile in the Planning and Research Dept. at the Rochester City School District. If memory serves me correctly, my husband, Don (who passed away in 2000) and I, had dinner one night with you and Jon at your home during the time we were working together.

    Although, at the time, Don and I were definitely impressed with Jon’s background, after reading his bio on this website I must say there was much more to him than we could have ever imagined. I was so sorry to read about his passing, but after dealing with Don’s death many years ago, I offer this simple comment. You will never get “over” losing Jon, but you will get “through it.” My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family throughout the days ahead.

    Helaine McMenomy

  7. Barbara Matteson on November 23, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Helene!! What a great story you wrote highlighting your husband’s life. Thank you for sharing. Thinking of you.

  8. Brian Crabb on November 28, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Dear Helene, Jon was such a wonderful caring man we always went out together after our basket ball games and always had such a good time together it’s so sudden to me that he’s gone for I was speaking to him not so long ago I guess whenever I hear Amazing Gace again or sing it which I do often I will be thinking of him and you if you come to Toronto please let me know so that we can get together. Brian

  9. Keith George on May 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Just learned of Jon’s. death in the SU magazine. I knew him from church and watched many of his games in high school as he generally whipped my team, North High. Also was lucky enough to see some of his college games. My late brother Jim, SU 57, track, cross country, knew him better. He was a fine and inspiring young man, in the eyes of a young peer, he was awesome. I always admired Jon. So sorry for your loss….Keith George SU’59.

  10. Keith George on May 8, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Just learned of Jon’s death in the SU magazine. I met Jon in church and later watched many of his high school games,often as he whipped my school, Binghamton North High. Later I saw his college play. My late brother Jim,SU ’57, track, cross country, knew him better. Jon was an inspiring young man, in my eyes awesome. Very sorry for your loss..Keith George SU ’59.

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