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.

  • Joseph A. Grondin ’44

    Deceased date: April 10, 2020
    Joseph A. Grondin, 97, of Saco, passed away early Friday morning, April 10, 2020, at the Maine Veteran’s Home in Scarborough. He was born in Biddeford on October 14, 1922, the son of Arthur and Hannah (Coffey) Grondin. Joe graduated from Biddeford Hi…read more
  • Edward F. Brown ’51

    Deceased date: April 10, 2020
    Edward Freeman Brown, 91, finished his final watch peacefully at home surrounded by his loving daughters on April 10, 2020. Edward was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on January 15, 1929, and raised in Northeast Harbo…read more
  • Edward F. Schultz ’68

    Deceased date: April 4, 2020
    Edward F. Schultz Sr, age 74 of Shelton passed away Satur…read more
  • Merle B. Pierce ’67

    Deceased date: March 18, 2020
    On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Merle Bishop Pierce Jr., known as Mickey, passed away at age 75. Mickey was born February 7, 1945 in Bath, ME and lived his entire life in Harpswell (except for one year in Massachusetts, which he would say doesn’t count…read more
  • Capt. Peter D. Lie-Nielsen ’66

    Deceased date: March 17, 2020
    Captain Peter David Lie-Nielsen passed away on March 17, 2020 in Chagrin Falls, OH after a long illness. Peter was born September 22, 1942 in Douglas, Georgia and grew up in the Georgia, Florida and the State of Maine. After graduating high school, Pet…read more
  • Stephen M. Levine ’64

    Deceased date: March 10, 2020
    Cmdr. Stephen M. Levine (retired, U.S. Coast Guard), died Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Nashua, N.H. Stephen was born on May 10, 1942, in Portland, Maine, son of Arthur and Madeline (Brickman) Levine of Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. Stephen is survived by his …read more
  • Thomas F. Joyce ’46

    Deceased date: March 2, 2020
    PORTLAND – Thomas F. Joyce, a merchant marine, Korean war veteran, and teacher, died on Feb. 25, 2020. He was 93 years old. He is survived by niece Ann Keniston and six nephews Martin, Richard, Thomas, Joseph, Peter, and Patrick Keniston. He was pred…read more
  • Richard W. Merrill ’47

    Deceased date: February 19, 2020
    Richard "Dick" Woodbury Merrill, 92, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine. He was born in Gray, on April 27, 1927, the son of the late Ernest L. and Alice (Stanton) Merrill. After graduating f…read more
  • William A. Lowell II ’56

    Deceased date: February 16, 2020
    William Alfred Lowell, 83, was born in the Parker Head Village in Phippsburg on Oct. 11, 1936 and passed away on Feb. 16, 2020. Bill was educated in Phippsburg, Bath and Maine Maritime Academy. After several years in the Merchant Marines he joined Bath I…read more
  • Gerald E. Garthwaite ’80

    Deceased date: February 3, 2020
    Gerald "Jerry" Garthwaite, 69, passed away Feb. 3, 2020 at his home in Gorham, Maine. He was the beloved husband of Anne Quinncannon Garthwaite, his wife of 39 years. Jerry was born in Stamford, Conn., then moved to Wells, Maine where he attended high …read more