Eight Bells

The practice of using bells stems from the days of the sailing ships. Sailors couldn't afford to have their own time pieces and relied on the ship's bells to tell time. The ship's boy kept time by using a half-hour glass. Each time the sand ran out, he would turn the glass over and ring the appropriate number of bells. Each ship “watch” is four hours, or eight bells, in length.

The tradition of Eight Bells pays respect to deceased mariners and signifies that a sailor's “watch” is over.

Submissions for Eight Bells

If you learn of the passing of a MMA classmate, associate, friend or family member, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations so that we may include the information in our Eight Bells listings. Send obituaries or their digital links to alumni@mma.edu.

  • Phillip L. Chaples ’53

    Deceased date: September 16, 2017
    Phillip Lloyd Chaples, 85, was born in Milo, Maine. He is a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy. Phillip retired from the U.S. Army Transportation Corps at Ft. Dix, NJ as a Major with 22 years of service. He is survived by his two sisters, Joanne Essa…read more
  • Brian G. Ayer ’66

    Deceased date: August 30, 2017
    SOUTH CHINA, MAINE - Brian G. Ayer, 73, passed away Aug. 30, 2017 at Maine General Medical Center in Augusta surrounded by his family. He was born Feb. 14, 1944 in Waterville, the son of Charles D. and Martha (Greenleaf) Ayer. He graduated from Hampden…read more
  • George A. Varney ’72

    Deceased date: August 23, 2017
    George A. Varney, 51, longtime GMC Service Manager/ Director, who received several recognitions for his willingness to go above and beyond, died Monday, November 19th, at his home here after a long illness. In 1982, he took the position of Service Manager…read more
  • John P. Quincannon Jr. ’80

    Deceased date: August 12, 2017
    John Patrick Quincannon, Jr., 60, passed away unexpectedly as a result of a heart attack on Aug. 12, 2017. John was born in Portland on Jan. 15, 1957, the son of the late John P. and Katherine (Foley) Quincannon. He graduated from Portland High School …read more
  • Donald R. Doornbos ’67

    Deceased date: August 11, 2017
      Donald R. Doornbos passed away August 11, 2017 in Beaufort SC.  After graduation from Maine Maritime Academy, he traveled the world as a Merchant Marine officer and came ashore after 20 years of service as a chief engineer.  He enjoyed sailing…read more
  • Michael J. Joyce ’78

    Deceased date: August 10, 2017
    INVERNESS, Fla. - Michael Joseph Joyce, 62, of Inverness Fla,. passed away on Aug. 10, 2017, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, surrounded by his loving wife Dian and family. Michael was born on Oct.15, 1954, in Portland. He was the son …read more
  • John B. Cochran ’47

    Deceased date: August 9, 2017
    John B.W. Cochran, 90, died peacefully at his home, Fairfax Cottage, in Hulls Cove, August 9, 2017. He was born February 1, 1927 in Washington, DC the son of John Baldwin Cochran and Alice Whiting Cochran. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 19…read more
  • John B. Halley ’57

    Deceased date: July 12, 2017
    John "Jack" Halley, 81, of Millinocket, Maine, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, at Colonial Healthcare in Lincoln, Maine. Jack was born in Millinocket on May 4, 1936, to Richard and Marie Halley. In addition to his parents, Jack w…read more
  • Lester C. Wood ’57

    Deceased date: July 11, 2017
    Lester Clayton Wood, 80, of Winthrop, died Tuesday July 11, 2017, at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. He was the only child of Emerald Jake Wood and Mary Elizabeth Yeaton Wood, born in Winthrop Oct. 5, 1936. He was educated in the Winthrop Schoo…read more
  • Richard H. Kutz ’66

    Deceased date: June 30, 2017
    Richard Kutz passed away on June 30,2017. At his request, there was no funeral or obituary. According to his wife Linda, Dick always spoke with pride of his alma mater, Maine Maritime Academy. His years spent at MMA were a source of fond memories of hi…read more