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.

  • John W. Alley ’73

    Deceased date: November 18, 2021
    John W. Alley, 70, passed away at home Thursday, November 18, 2021, with his loving wife and daughter by his side. He was born May 17, 1951, in Jonesport, Maine, to Ernestine (Bryant) and Leo Alley. John married his high school sweetheart, Laura (Pratt) i…read more
  • Lincoln E. McRae III ’69

    Deceased date: November 9, 2021
    Lincoln (Skip) McRae passed away peacefully in Jacksonville FL on 9 November 2021 with his family alongside of him. He is survived by his wife Gail, children Shelby and Lincoln IV and grandchildren. A proud graduate of MMA Class of ’69, and native of R…read more
  • Gilbert Marriner ’47

    Deceased date: November 2, 2021
    Gilbert “Gil” Marriner, 94, died at Quarry Hill Retirement Community in the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, after a brief illness.
    read more
  • Bruce R. Carter ’52

    Deceased date: October 31, 2021
    Bruce Raymond “Raymie” Carter, 90, passed comfortably on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital. He was born Dec. 8, 1930, to Gertrude Eldridge Carter Fernald and Bruce S. Carter, followed by stepfather Bertrum “Sharky” F…read more
  • Matthew S. Williams ’96

    Deceased date: October 17, 2021
    Matthew S. Williams, 48, passed away on October 17, 2020. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio on April 12, 1972. He was a graduate of Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH, cum Laude from Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME and GE Electric Power System Fie…read more
  • John S. Woodward ’70

    Deceased date: September 20, 2021
    Jack Woodward, 73, died unexpectedly on Sept. 20, 2021.
    He was born in July of 1948 in Salem, Mass. He graduated from Maine Maritime in 1970. He spent most of his life in t…read more
  • Charles L. Spalding ’72

    Deceased date: September 19, 2021
    Charles “Chuck” Leland Spalding, loving brother, father and grandfather passed away peacefully on September 19th, 2021, with family by his side. Born on March 6, 1949, in St. Stephen, New Brunswick to Leland Murl and Joyce Gloria (Robinson) Spalding. …read more
  • Daniel F. Sevigny ’47

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    Daniel Francis Sevigny passed away on Monday, September 6th in St. Petersburg, Florida, after a brief illness. Frank, as he was known by his family and friends, and Pepere to all of his grandchildren, was 94 years wise and living in St. Petersburg, FL …read more
  • Donald L. Merchant ’55

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    Donald L. Merchant, 87, beloved husband of Sally Merchant, died Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, at Knox Center for Long Term Care. Donald shipped for 21 years, then worked for the Maine State Ferry Service for ten years.…read more
  • William J. O’Reilly ’62

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    William “Bill” O’Reilly '62E has passed. Bill spent nearly 30 years at sea rising to Chief Engineer and sailing with Ogden Marine. He came ashore for an encore career as a Port Engineer for Ogden Marine (now OMI Corp). In retirement he split his ti…read more