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

  • Cmdr. Richard A. Groder ’58

    Deceased date: October 10, 2006
    Richard A. "Dick" Groder, 69, departed on eternal patrol, Oct. 10, 2006. Cmdr. Groder graduated from Maine Maritime Academy, the U.S. Naval Submarine School and the SSBN Weapons School. During 1968, he was a member of the commissioning crew of the USS Uly…read more
  • Paul R. Sundman ’72

    Deceased date: August 25, 2006
    P. Roger Sundman, 57, of 109 Murray Lane, died Friday, Aug. 25, 2006, at his home. He is survived by his wife, Claudia Sundman of the home; his mother, Gabrielle Sundman of Port Orange, Fla.; one brother, Robert Sundman of Stonington, Conn.; and one sist…read more
  • Douglas E. Birt ’72

    Deceased date: August 7, 2006
    Douglas Edward Birt, 56, died peacefully Aug. 7, 2006, with his loving family at his side, at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y. He was born April 22, 1950, in Bangor, the son of Walter A. and Dorothy (Larlee) Birt. Douglas grew up in East …read more
  • Charles F. Ramsey, Jr. ’65

    Deceased date: March 31, 2006
    Charles Franklin Ramsey Jr., 62, of Sand Beach Road, died at his home March 31, 2006. Born in Portland, he was a son of Charles F. Ramsey Sr. and Elizabeth S. Burns Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey was a 1961 graduate of South Portland High School and a 1965 graduat…read more
  • Wesley A. Hoch ’54

    Deceased date: December 23, 2004
    ROCKPORT - Wesley A. Hoch, 72, founder of North End Marine in Rockland, died unexpectedly at his home here of natural causes, late Thursday, December 23, 2004. Born in Rockland, April 23, 1932, he was a son of Raymond A. and Ruth Koster Hoch. Educated in…read more
  • Randal C. Newton ’80

    Deceased date: September 28, 2004
    FAIRFIELD, ME - Randal C. Newton died on September 28, 2004 at Inland Hospital in Waterville, ME.  He was born on June 25, 1957 in Portland, the son of Carlton and Beverly …read more
  • Richard M. Mayo ’72

    Deceased date: July 17, 2004
    WATERVILLE - Richard "Dick" Maurice Mayo, 54, of Waterville passed away Saturday, July 17, 2004, at MaineGeneral Medical Center. Dick was born Oct. 26, 1949, in Waterville, the son of Maurice and Irene (Rodrigue) Mayo. Dick attended Sacred Heart Grammar S…read more
  • William C. Barry ’80

    Deceased date: October 5, 2003
    WELLS, ME - William C. Barry of Blackberry Lane, Wells passed away Oct. 5, 2003 after a brief but extremely well-fought battle against cancer.
    read more
  • Capt. Timothy D. Lindberg ’80

    Deceased date: May 7, 2002
    BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA - Timothy Drew Lindberg, 44, of Bainbridge Island died May 7, 2002 at the age of 44.  He was born on April 5, 1958 in Staten Island, NY, to Howard and Patr…read more
  • Todd L. Kratz ’80

    Deceased date: September 10, 1985
    Todd L. Kratz, 27, of Kingfield, Maine, formerly of Wayne, died September 10. He was a second assistant engineer aboard the merchant ship Anderson Jr. of the Maersk Line of Maine. He was an honors graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, where he had been acti…read more