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County parks leader dies at 52 of cancer

Jon Sinclair, a renowned umpire, teacher, organizer and leader in the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department, died Monday after a long bout with cancer.

He was 52.

"He will be missed by many, many people," said Scott Burkett, the Parks and Recreation Youth Sports Coordinator who worked side by side with Mr. Sinclair for 22 years.

"He also helped build up the area's umpires association, which is among the best, if not the best, in the state. I never saw a person more organized than him, and few people were more influential on my life than him."

Angela Slater, the softball coach for 15 years at Brandon and currently at Riverview, remembered Sinclair as "tough but fair."

"I've been coaching for many years, and I've often heard, "No' when asking officials and administrators about new ideas," she said. "But if you asked Jon about an idea, he would often say, "Yes, we can find a way to get it done.' And then he would follow up on his word and get things done.

"He helped start our Spring Fling tournament and next year, I think we'll try to rename the tournament honoring him."

Mr. Sinclair's many titles included Hillsborough Parks and Recreation Athletics Sections Manager, Amateur Softball Association Southern Region Vice President and former president of the Hillsborough County Umpires Association.

Mr. Sinclair is survived by his wife, Dawn of Seffner; sons, Chad, Cameron and Hunter; daughters, Constance, Candace, Cara and Kylie; father, Wayne; and sisters, Sharon and Mary.

Stowers Funeral Home in Brandon is handling arrangements.