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

  • Malcolm C. Cianchette ’73

    Deceased date: November 21, 2019
    Malcom Carl “Mac” Cianchette, 68, lost his battle with cancer Nov 21, 2019, at his home on Great Moose Lake, with his family by side. He was born May 25, 1951, in Waterville, the son of Carl and Maureen (Davis) Cianchette. Mac graduated from the form…read more
  • Gilbert P. Sorenson ’53

    Deceased date: November 19, 2019
    Gilbert Peter Sorenson ’53 passed away on November 19, 2019 at his home on Long Island.  Gil, Maine Maritime’s “Brooklyn, New York Boy” loved the state of Maine.  Upon graduation, he proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy as an officer duri…read more
  • Robert L. Ellis ’51

    Deceased date: November 14, 2019
    Bob Ellis passed away on Nov. 14, 2019 at home in Oakland, Maine, at the age of 89 after a courageous battle against cancer. He was born on March 16, 1930 in Portland, the second of four children to Irma and Chester Ellis. The family lived in South Portla…read more
  • Richard H. Moody ’44

    Deceased date: November 11, 2019
    Andover MA - Dick Moody, aged 94, died at home on Monday, November 11, 2019. Richard was the son of Percy W. and Helen B. Moody and was a ninety-year resident of Andover, He attended Phillips Academy, earned a Marin…read more
  • James L. Farrington, Jr. ’57

    Deceased date: November 8, 2019
    James Leo Farrington, Jr., 83, of Biddeford died Friday, November 8, 2019 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough. He was born July 20, 1936 in Biddeford to James L. and Marion E. (Tanguay) Farrington, Sr. James was educated locally, graduatin…read more
  • Kenneth L. Hatch ’71

    Deceased date: November 7, 2019
    FORT MYERS, Fla. – Kenneth L. Hatch, 72, passed away after a short illness Nov. 7, 2019, in Fort Myers, Fla. “Kenny” was the youngest of five children, born Jan. 4, 1947, in Portland, to Philip B. Hatch Sr. and Phyllis Crangle Hatch. He attended Po…read more
  • Capt. Osborne N. Ellis ’47

    Deceased date: October 28, 2019
    BRUNSWICK – Osborne N. Ellis, 92, passed away peacefully on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Brunswick. He was born in Waterville on May 12, 1927, to Frank B. Ellis and Erla Edwards Ellis. He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1944, Maine Maritime Academy…read more
  • Duane E. Hjulstrom ’60

    Deceased date: October 13, 2019
    Duane Hjulstrom, 80, of Claremont, NH, died Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, after a lengthy struggle with lung disease. He was born in Presque Isle, Maine, the son of Thelma Ellis and Guy Hjulstrom.  He was a 1957 graduate of Presque Isle High School where he …read more
  • Eugene V. Gendron ’50

    Deceased date: October 2, 2019
    Eugene V. Gendron, 91, of Biddeford, passed away peacefully Wednesday evening Oct. 2, 2019, at home. He was born in Pembroke, N.H. on April 22, 1928, a son of Henry and Marie Louise (Letendre) Gendron. Gene was a graduate of Biddeford High School, class …read more
  • Robert B. Lessels ’50

    Deceased date: October 2, 2019
    Robert B. Lessels, 89, died October 2, 2019. He was born December 5, 1929 in Concord, NH. The son of Clarence and Marjorie (Hammond) Lessels. Robert graduated from Concord High School in 1947. Following high school, he attended Maine Maritime Academy in …read more