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

  • Bruce R. Carter ’52

    Deceased date: October 31, 2021
    Bruce Raymond “Raymie” Carter, 90, passed comfortably on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital. He was born Dec. 8, 1930, to Gertrude Eldridge Carter Fernald and Bruce S. Carter, followed by stepfather Bertrum “Sharky” F…read more
  • Matthew S. Williams ’96

    Deceased date: October 17, 2021
    Matthew S. Williams, 48, passed away on October 17, 2020. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio on April 12, 1972. He was a graduate of Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, NH, cum Laude from Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ME and GE Electric Power System Fie…read more
  • Jonathan L. Blackwell ’72

    Deceased date: October 1, 2021
    Jonathan Lee Blackwell of Shapleigh, aged 72, died peacefully with his family by his side on October 1, 2021 at Maine Medical Center in Portland. Jon, as he preferred to be called, was born on April 8, 1949, in Portland to Kenneth and Marion (Crockett)…read more
  • John S. Woodward ’70

    Deceased date: September 20, 2021
    Jack Woodward, 73, died unexpectedly on Sept. 20, 2021.
    He was born in July of 1948 in Salem, Mass. He graduated from Maine Maritime in 1970. He spent most of his life in t…read more
  • Charles L. Spalding ’72

    Deceased date: September 19, 2021
    Charles “Chuck” Leland Spalding, loving brother, father and grandfather passed away peacefully on September 19th, 2021, with family by his side. Born on March 6, 1949, in St. Stephen, New Brunswick to Leland Murl and Joyce Gloria (Robinson) Spalding. …read more
  • Daniel F. Sevigny ’47

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    Daniel Francis Sevigny passed away on Monday, September 6th in St. Petersburg, Florida, after a brief illness. Frank, as he was known by his family and friends, and Pepere to all of his grandchildren, was 94 years wise and living in St. Petersburg, FL …read more
  • Donald L. Merchant ’55

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    Donald L. Merchant, 87, beloved husband of Sally Merchant, died Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, at Knox Center for Long Term Care. Donald shipped for 21 years, then worked for the Maine State Ferry Service for ten years.…read more
  • William J. O’Reilly ’62

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    William “Bill” O’Reilly '62E has passed. Bill spent nearly 30 years at sea rising to Chief Engineer and sailing with Ogden Marine. He came ashore for an encore career as a Port Engineer for Ogden Marine (now OMI Corp). In retirement he split his ti…read more
  • Stanley A. Fraser ’64

    Deceased date: September 6, 2021
    Newcastle, Maine - Stanley Fraser, 79, of Bremen, Maine and Quaker Hill. He passed away peacefully with family by his side at L+M Hospital Aug. 19, 2021. Stanley was born June 2, 1942, his parents were Wendall and Louise (Perkins) Fraser. He lived in N…read more
  • John D. McKeown ’82

    Deceased date: July 20, 2021
    John D. McKeown (Sailor John), 61, of Tampa, Florida, passed peacefully in his sleep on July 20, 2021. He was born in New Haven to the late Nancy (Downing) and James E. McKeown. John grew up in Northford, CT with a very active youth, playing little lea…read more