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.

  • Walter L. Varney ’56

    Deceased date: February 27, 2021
    Walter Leroy Varney died peacefully at his home on February 27, 2021, with family by his side. Born in Richmond, Maine on February 18, 1935, to the late Roy and Rachel (Witham) Varney. Walter graduated Maine Maritime Academy in 1956. He served in the US …read more
  • Calvin R. Pelley ’49

    Deceased date: February 16, 2021
    Calvin R. "Dick" Pelley, age 93, passed away on February 16, 2021. Dick was a 1949 Graduate of Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, and served in the Merchant Marine and also served in the U. S. Navy during the Korean War. Dick attended Purdue Uni…read more
  • Thomas E. O’Boyle ’78

    Deceased date: January 31, 2021
    Thomas E. O’Boyle, 64, beloved husband, father and merchant marine chief engineer, passed away Jan. 31, 2021, in the comfort of his Eaton, N.H., home, surrounded by the…read more
  • Richard A. Condon ’64

    Deceased date: January 30, 2021
    Richard Condon, 81, spent his last year at the Orono Commons Nursing Home where he recently contracted COVID-19, which claimed his life. He was born August 1, 1939, in Brewer, the son of Harry Alton and Robina Mary Condon and passed away January 30, 2021.…read more
  • James A. Deering ’92

    Deceased date: January 24, 2021
    James Alan Deering, 50, passed away on Friday, January 24, 2020 at St. Joseph's Hospital after a long illness. James was born in Bossier City, Louisiana, son of Colonel and Mrs. Philip Deering. He graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Unio…read more
  • Frederick B. Jensen ’65

    Deceased date: January 24, 2021
    FALMOUTH – Frederick “Fred” Barbrick Jensen, 78, passed away in Portland on Jan. 24, 2021, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. The son of Frederick Boe, and Christine Nona (Gorwood) Jensen, he was born in Portland on June 30, 1942. Fr…read more
  • Dmitry N. Setrakov ’17

    Deceased date: January 11, 2021
    Dmitry Setrakov passed away on January 11th (the day of angels) at the age of 32. He was surrounded by family, and passed in a peaceful and painless way. He put up one he…read more
  • Capt. G. Douglas Ferguson ’62

    Deceased date: January 10, 2021
    On Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, Captain Gordon Douglas Ferguson passed away at the age of 79. Doug Ferguson was born in Buffalo, N.Y. on Oct. 29, 1941 to his father, Gordon Samuel Ferguson, and his mother, Barbara Halcrow Ferguson, now deceased. His childhoo…read more
  • Frederick A. Ganter ’51

    Deceased date: January 3, 2021
    Frederick Albin Ganter passed away on January 3rd, 2021 in Hampstead, North Carolina, surrounded by his loving family. He was 91 years old. Mr. Ganter, who was known as “Fred”, was born on June 13, 1929, the son of Wilhelmina (Issler) and Frederick…read more
  • Robert J. Hill ’69

    Deceased date: January 1, 2021
    HAMPTON, N.H. – Robert J. Hill, 73, of Hampton, former longtime resident of Stratham, died peacefully on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. He was born in Derby, Conn. on Sept. 21, 1947, a son of the late Toivo J. and Mary (Mawhinney) Hill. He was the second olde…read more