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.

  • Myron R. Sawyer ’51

    Deceased date: September 26, 2022
    Bob Sawyer passed away peacefully on September 26, 2022 at the age of 92. Myron Robert Sawyer was born to Walter Scott Sawyer and Catherine Mae Rollins of Portland, ME on June 22, 1930. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Lynn (Brown), by his…read more
  • Rene G. Gagne ’51

    Deceased date: September 24, 2022
    BIDDEFORD – Rene Girard Gagne, 92, died peacefully Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at his home. He was born in Lynn, Mass. on Nov. 12, 1929, a son of Origene and Irene (St. Onge) Gagne, was educated at Biddeford schools and graduated from Maine Maritime Acade…read more
  • Peter R. Sederquist ’74

    Deceased date: September 13, 2022
    Peter Roy Sederquist, 71, died on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at his home in Plantation, Florida.
    Peter was born in Laconia, and maintained residence in Alton Bay among hi…read more
  • George A. Wade ’65

    Deceased date: September 8, 2022
    George A. Wade died September 8, 2022 at Newport News VA.  George graduated from Tenney High School in Methuen, MA as well as MMA. After graduating George sailed as an engineering officer with Hudson Waterways. At Newport News Shipbuilding…read more
  • 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

  • Wayne F. Wardwell ’57

    Deceased date: July 24, 2022
    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