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

The practice dates back to the days of the sailing ships, when 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.

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

  • Edmund N. Watson ’95

    Deceased date: May 1, 2024
    Edmund Norman Watson, 85, was born on January 17, 1939 in Manchester, CT and passed away on May 1, 2024. He attended Ellsworth High School, UConn (where he studied mechanical engineering), and Maine Maritime Academy (where he earned an associate degree …read more
  • John W. Adam ’54

    Deceased date: April 24, 2024
    John (Jack) William Adam III passed away peacefully at Ellis Hospital after a short illness surrounded by the love of his family on April 24, 2024. Jack was born on February 22, 1932 to John W. Adam II and Miriam Adam (nee Dean) in Tuxedo, NY. He was pr…read more
  • Capt. Roland O. Melcher ’56

    Deceased date: April 24, 2024
    KITTERY – Roland O. Melcher, 90, passed Wednesday, April 24, 2024. He was born Feb. 28, 1934, in Portland, to Frank R. Melcher and Helen M. Smith. He was married for 63 years to his loving wife, Joan Elizabeth Leach, from Methuen, Mass. He is surviv…read more
  • William A. Clark ’87

    Deceased date: April 24, 2024
    William Clark, 60, passed away on April 24, 2024 in Ossipee, NH. He attended Portsmouth High School and Maine Maritime Academy. William worked for Merchant Marine's, BOC Gas, and Starboard Trade (his own business).…read more
  • Harold C. Morse ’50

    Deceased date: April 23, 2024
    BELFAST — Harold C. Morse, 95, passed away at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast. Born on January 28, 1928 on the Howard Road in Belmont, he was the second child of Clarence and Viola Morse. His siblings included Clarence Morse, Jr. (deceased), Be…read more
  • Frank W. Richardson III ’65

    Deceased date: April 20, 2024
    Frank W. Richardson III, 80, of Beaumont, passed away on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Over the last few years, old age and health issues got the best of him and his heart just gave out. Frank is now in the arms of Jesus, surrounded with love and no longer in…read more
  • Rodney J. Lucas ’69

    Deceased date: April 8, 2024
    Rodney J. Lucas passed away peacefully at his home in The Villages, FL on April 5th, 2024 at the age of 77. Rod is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Rosemary Lucas, daughter Keri Lucas and her husband John Barsosky, and grandson Jackson Barsosky of…read more
  • Stephen R. Barbara ’67

    Deceased date: April 6, 2024
    Stephen R. Barbara passed away April 6, 2024.…read more
  • William T. Orr ’74

    Deceased date: April 5, 2024
    William T. Orr (aka "Captain Bill") of Lake Hopatcong, NJ passed away peacefully on Friday, April 5, 2024 at St. Clare's Hospital Dover Campus surrounded by his loving family. He was 71 years old. Bill was born on September 24, 1952 in Denville, …read more
  • Herbert C. Phelps ’57

    Deceased date: March 24, 2024
    Herbert Cornell Phelps, 86, of South Portland, Maine, passed away on March 24, 2024. Herb was born on April 17, 1936, in Boston. He is the son of the late Noel and Margaret Rose (Carson) Phelps. He worked in the Merchant Marine as an engineer for many y…read more