Eight Bells

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.

  • Capt. Richard A. J. Bernier ’70

    Deceased date: July 18, 2020
    Richard Bernier was born in Westbrook, Maine on Sept. 11, 1948, son of George and Marguerite Bernier. He passed away on July 18, 2020 with his sister by his side. He was a resident of Stanardsville, Va. since February of 2002. He graduated from Gorham …read more
  • M. Joseph Odom ’74

    Deceased date: July 16, 2020
    Marvin Joseph Odom, healer, herbalist, acupuncturist, gardener, sailor, desert rat, pirate (retired), artist, amazing husband and friend, died peacefully with Karen at his side on July 16, 2020. He had been hospitalized at Stanf…read more
  • A. Patrick McCarthy ’66

    Deceased date: July 7, 2020
    A. Patrick McCarthy, of Cohasset, Mass., loving husband and father, passed away on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at the age of 77, with his family by his side in his beloved home on the hillside. Pat was born on April 22, 1943 in Cohasset, MA to Charles and A…read more
  • Joseph T. Robinson ’61

    Deceased date: June 23, 2020
    Joseph Thomas “Tom” Robinson, brother and friend, took his final sail into the sunset June 23, 2020. He passed peacefully and on his own terms. Tom spent much of his life on the water sailing and motoring. He loved women, dancing, cooking, his dogs…read more
  • Fredric J. Kelley ’60

    Deceased date: June 21, 2020
    Fredric Kelley of Holland, Mich. passed away peacefully in the early morning on Sunday, June 21, 2020. He fought a courageous battle against pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure. Fredric was born on December 6, 1939 in Grand Rapids to Bert a…read more
  • Francis Piliere ’45

    Deceased date: June 19, 2020
    Francis "Frank" Piliere, 94 of Clifton Park, NY, died of natural causes on Monday, June 15, 2020, at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Manhattan on September 4, 1925, and was the son of the late Daniel and Josephine Marianna Pi…read more
  • William P. Plummer ’72

    Deceased date: June 15, 2020
    William P. Plummer passed away at his home in Limington, Maine, June 15, 2020. He was the youngest son of the late Guy and Winifred Marean Plummer. Bill was a graduate of Maine Maritime, class of 1972. Bill was a marine engineer. His profession took hi…read more
  • William F. Thompson ’46

    Deceased date: June 12, 2020
    William Foss Thompson, 93, son of the late William Laban Thompson and Mildred Foss Thompson of Boston, Massachusetts, and a more than half century summer resident of Southport, Maine, died June 12, 2020 due to complications from a fractured hip sustained …read more
  • Ernest D. Allen III ’87

    Deceased date: June 2, 2020

    Ernest David Allen III, 60, of Morehead City, passed away Tuesday, June 2­, 2020, offshore while serving as the chief engineer on the Valaris Relentless.

    David was a graduate of West Carteret High School and M…read more

  • Capt. Charles M. Hall ’56

    Deceased date: May 28, 2020
    SOUTH PORTLAND – Charles M. Hall, 84, passed away peacefully at home in South Portland, Maine, on May 28, 2020 after a 2-1/2-year battle with cancer. He was the son of Milton E. and Flora Hall Sr. and raised in Kittery, ME, with summers on Cedar Isla…read more