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

  • Steven M. Wilson ’81

    Deceased date: July 30, 2023
    Steven Wilson of Canton, formerly of Sharon, passed away suddenly surrounded by his loving family on July 30, 2023 at the age of 63. He was the son of Audrey and the late Charles Wilson, husband of Robbin Wilson, father of Michael Wilson, Rebekah Ryan an…read more
  • William R. Fleming ’56

    Deceased date: July 27, 2023
    Homosassa, FL, and Exeter - William Fleming "Bill," passed in Homosassa, Florida, on July 27, 2023, after complications from a fall. He was born August 8, 1934, to Margureite and Fred Fleming. He graduated from Ba…read more
  • Frank M. Hale ’62

    Deceased date: July 25, 2023
    Frank M. Hale passed away July 25, 2023. He was born on July 31, 1939, in Salem, Mass., to Dorothy Alicia Faye and Frank Vincent Hale. He graduated from Salem High School in 1958, graduated as an Ensign from Maine Maritime Academy in 1962, and served i…read more
  • Richard A. Foley ’49

    Deceased date: July 5, 2023
    MANCHESTER – Richard A. Foley, 95, passed away July 5, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Born Dec. 14, 1927, Richard grew up in Philadelphia, Pa. with two brothers, William and John. After the death of his father in 1943, Richard relocated with …read more
  • George H. Duncan ’67

    Deceased date: July 1, 2023
    George Henry Duncan of Blue Point, New York sadly passed away on July 1, 2023. He was born on October 27, 1945, son of the late Edith Hodgkinson and George Duncan. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and obtained a master’s degree from Suny Maritim…read more
  • Paul D. Rooney ’61

    Deceased date: June 29, 2023
    Paul D. Rooney '61 died in Florida on June 29, 2023. He sailed on tankers, break-bulk cargo, and containerships throughout his long career. Prior to attending MMA, he served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard; three and a half years aboard the CG cutter A…read more
  • Joseph Kostiuk, Jr. ’60

    Deceased date: June 28, 2023
    Joseph Kostiuk, Jr., age 84, of Deerfield, Massachusetts, passed away unexpectedly at Baystate Medical in Springfield on June 28, 2023. Joe was born February 14, 1939, the son of Mary (Paciesnik) Kostiuk and Joseph Kostiuk, Sr. After elementary school …read more
  • Roger L. Poulin ’57

    Deceased date: June 23, 2023
    Roger Lionel Poulin, 91, of Pawleys Island, SC, passed away on Friday, June 23, 2023 at NHC of Garden City. He was born January 26, 1932 in Winslow, ME, son of the late Joseph Napoleon Poulin and Marie Zelie Boucher Poulin. In addition to his parents h…read more
  • John R. Hilton ’62

    Deceased date: June 21, 2023
    John R. Hilton, 82, of Newcastle, passed away on June 17, 2023, at home surrounded by his loving family. Born in Damariscotta on Dec. 17, 1940, to John H. Hilton and Irma Chase, John grew up in Newcastle. He attended Franklin Grammar School and graduat…read more
  • Bruce D. Michelsen ’54

    Deceased date: June 2, 2023
    Bruce Michelsen died peacefully at home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on June 2, 2023. He came so close to reaching his goal of living to the age of 90. Bruce was born July 12, 1933 in Stamford, Connecticut to Grace Kenn and Adolph Michelsen. In 1951 …read more