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 alumni@mma.edu.

  • Bernard W. Seile ’54

    Deceased date: August 3, 2022
    AUGUSTA – Bernard W. Seile, 88, passed peacefully Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, with his wife and family by his side at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. He was born in Benedicta, ME on May 13, 1934 the fifth of seven children of the late Frederick J.…read more
  • Edward J. Lynch ’71

    Deceased date: July 29, 2022

    After a sudden and brief illness, Edward J. Lynch Jr., 72, a Danvers resident for more than sixty years, died Friday, July 29, 20…read more

  • Christopher E. Nielsen ’75

    Deceased date: July 16, 2022
    Christopher Eric Nielsen beloved father, grandfather, brother and friend transitioned to his heavenly art studio on Saturday, July 16, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. Chris was born Feb. 27, 1953 in Portland to Christian and Arlene (Willey) Niels…read more
  • Jeffrey M. Brown ’68

    Deceased date: July 15, 2022
    Jeffrey M. Brown, 75, died July 15, 2022 at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He was born Jan. 28, 1947 in Marblehead, Mass. to William Morrison Brown and Marjorie (Cronk) Brown. Jeffrey grew up in Marblehead, Mass. and Laconia, N.H. He graduated from Lac…read more
  • Joseph R. Moran ’64

    Deceased date: July 14, 2022
    Joseph R. Moran, 80, of Portland, died peacefully on Thursday, July 14, 2022 in Yarmouth. Joseph was born in Portland on Feb. 21, 1942, the son of Joseph and Evelyn (Feeney) Moran. He grew up in Portland, attended Cathedral Grammar School and graduated…read more
  • Capt. John A. Bernich ’65

    Deceased date: June 30, 2022
    John A. Bernich, of Wantagh, NY, died on June 30, 2022, at the age of 79. Beloved husband of the late Catherine. Loving father of Michael (Cristina) and Richard. Cherished grandfather of Nathaniel, Ethan, James, Constantine "Gus", and Margeaux. Proud L…read more
  • Robert D. Higgins, Jr. ’71

    Deceased date: May 31, 2022
    Robert Dana Higgins Jr., age 75, of Harpswell, ME and Birch Run, MI departed us on May 31, 2022. He was a beloved and devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather. His independent spirit was interwoven with a fierce loyalty, care, and generosi…read more
  • Capt. Lloyd D. Lowell ’50

    Deceased date: May 17, 2022
    Captain Lloyd D. Lowell, 93, of Sun City Center, FL passed away May 17, 2022. He was born in Houlton, ME, the son of Earl F. and Alice Arndt Lowell of Parker Head, Phippsburg, ME. He graduated from Morse High School (Bath, ME) and Maine Maritime Academy (…read more
  • Theodore Truman ’51

    Deceased date: May 12, 2022
    Theodore “Ted” Truman, 92, of Piper Shores, Scarborough, died peacefully during the night of May 12, 2022, with his wife of 52 years, Norma, by his side. Born in Biddeford, Ted was the son of the late Peter and Marika (Yfantides) Throumoulos. He atten…read more
  • Kenneth W. Barstow ’57

    Deceased date: May 5, 2022
    "Ken" Barstow, 86, passed away peacefully on May 5th, 2022 in Clinton, Connecticut, where he had lived for 50 years. Born on October 8th, 1935 in Worcester, Massachusetts, he was the second child to Paul Dixon and Gladys Hillier Barstow, who raised their …read more