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

  • Capt. John Maclean ’58

    Deceased date: March 12, 2023
    Captain John Maclean, 88, of William Street, passed away Sunday evening at Samaritan Summit Village in Watertown, where he had been a resident since November of 2020. He was born December 30, 1934 in Buffalo, NY, son of Archibald and Effie Gillies Macl…read more
  • Wilbur S. Langdon III ’69

    Deceased date: March 12, 2023

    Following a long illness, Wil Langdon passed away on March 12,2023. He was born on July 7, 1945 in New London, CT. After completing his high school educ…read more

  • Thomas J. Frederick ’66

    Deceased date: February 26, 2023
    Thomas J. Frederick, 78, passed away February 26, 2023, at Northern Light Mayo Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born August 22, 1944, in Waterville, the son of Anthony J. and Evelyn (Gamble) Frederick. T…read more
  • J. Michael L. Findlan ’72

    Deceased date: February 24, 2023
    Joseph Michael Leo Findlan, a resident of New Richmond, passed away on Friday, February 24, 2023, at the age of 72. A 1972 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, he was the husband of 35 years to Donise “Doni” Findlan (nee Conley), whom he married in 198…read more
  • Daniel E. Davis ’94

    Deceased date: February 20, 2023

    Dan Davis - yeast wrangler, rum distiller extraordinaire, harbormaster, gourmet cook, house and boat builder, musician, Liberal C…read more

  • Gary K. Wheaton ’62

    Deceased date: January 29, 2023
    Gary Kenneth Wheaton passed away at home at age 82 on January 29, 2023. Gary was born December 11, 1940 in Millinocket, Maine to parents Kenneth Cecil Wheaton and Harriet Marie (MacKenzie) Wheaton. Gary graduated from Stearns High School in 1959 and fr…read more
  • James G. Kus ’76

    Deceased date: January 29, 2023
    It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of James Gregory Kus. On Jan. 29, 2023, James went home to be with the Lord. James was born on May 20, 1951 to Joseph and Sophie. James graduated from Winthrop High School and went on to Maine Marit…read more
  • Robert M. Whitney ’80

    Deceased date: January 26, 2023

    Robert 'Eli' Whitney was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1957 to Horace Burton and Marjory Mackay Whitney on May 14 “Eli” has passed on to the next stage in his journey on January 26…read more

  • Rodney L. Scribner ’56

    Deceased date: January 22, 2023

    Rodney Latham Scribner, 87, of Randolph, died at his home following an illness on Sunday, January 22, 2023, with Shirley by his more

  • Capt. Arthur S. Melanson ’68

    Deceased date: January 20, 2023
    “Old sailors never die but sometimes, when the tide is low, they just sail away.” Capt. Arthur S. Melanson’s ship sailed January 20, 2023 after an adventurous 77 year voyage. He hauled anchor after a bout of congestive heart failure complicated by t…read more