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

  • Gerald A. Cummings ’50

    Deceased date: April 30, 2014

    Captain Gerald Arthur Cummings 84 years old of Mariaville,Maine passed away peacefully after long illness on April 30, 2014 at Courtland Rehab and Living Center of Ellsworth,Maine.

    Gerald was born on…read more

  • William E. Abbott ’45

    Deceased date: April 21, 2014

    BELFAST - William E. Abbott, 91, of Belfast, died at his residence Monday April 21, 2014.

    He was born on Oct. 25, 1922, on Verona Island, to Carrie Justina (Burgess) and Merle Clifton Abbott. Bill at…read more

  • Lawrence M. Theriault ’53

    Deceased date: April 6, 2014

    Lawrence M. Theriault, 81, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on April 6, 2014. He was born in Millinocket, Maine, son of the late Lionel and Helen Theriault. He was a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy a…read more

  • David H. Williams ’61

    Deceased date: March 24, 2014
    David Henry Williams, 74, of Inverness, Florida passed away March 24, 2014 under the care of Hospice of Citrus County. He was born on March 8, 1940 in Norfolk, VA to the late Roger Hargreaves and Lois Evelyn (Hawes) Williams. …read more
  • George G. Martin, Jr. ’50

    Deceased date: March 14, 2014
    George G. Martin Jr. died on March 14, 2014. He was 85. George was born in Auburn, Me., and attended Auburn schools. He graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy in 1950, at which time he was called into the Navy as an ensign, then lieutenant junior grad…read more
  • Terry R. Parker ’64

    Deceased date: February 25, 2014
    Captain Terry R. Parker, 71, Lady Lake, FL died on Tuesday, February 25, 2014. He was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, He was the son of the late Lunnie H. & Florence Richardson Parker. He grew up and lived in the family hom…read more
  • David J. Billings ’60

    Deceased date: February 21, 2014

    KENNEBUNKPORT -- LtCdr. David J. Billings, USN, Ret., 75, lovingly referred to as the Grand Poobah by his family and a resident of the Mills Road in Cape Porpoise, died on Feb. 21, 2014, at the Maine Medical Center in Portland af…read more

  • Harry M. Reid Jr. ’62

    Deceased date: February 21, 2014

    LEWISTON: Harry M. Reid, Jr. passed away peacefully with his family by his side Friday afternoon, February 21, 2014. He was born in Lewiston at Central Maine Medical Center on July 4, 1938 a son of the late Dr. Harry M. Reid, Sr.…read more

  • Francis W. Gerow ’53

    Deceased date: February 21, 2014
    Francis W. Gerow, 81, of Springfield, Va., passed on to his final command station on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, after going into cardiac arrest. He was born Aug. 22, 1932, in Pittsfield, Maine, to William (from Canada) and Louise …read more
  • E. Allen Beem Jr. ’44

    Deceased date: February 6, 2014

    YARMOUTH -- E. Allen Beem Jr., formerly of Westbrook, died on Feb. 6, 2014, at Brentwood Center for Health & Rehabilitation in Yarmouth.

    Allen was born on Feb. 10, 1924, in Warren, Ohio, the firs…read more