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

  • Shawn E. Sullivan ’82

    Deceased date: December 1, 2013
    Virginia Beach - Shawn E. Sullivan of Jacksonville, Fla. left us on his way home after a beautiful morning of riding the waves on December 1,…read more
  • John “Mike” Whelan ’46

    Deceased date: October 25, 2013
    WHELAN, JOHN, M., "MIKE" 87, of President Avenue, Riverside, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on October 25, 2013 at the Tockwotton Home. He was the beloved husband of Linda (Cornish) Whelan. Born in Biddeford, …read more
  • Dwight A. Collar ’56

    Deceased date: October 21, 2013
    Dwight Allen Collar, 78, of Caradale Way, husband of Elizabeth Arnold Collar, passed away Monday, October 21, 2013 at Greenville Memorial Hospital. Born November 2, 1934 in Hancock County, Maine, he was the son of the late Ric…read more
  • Charles A. Dickman ’45

    Deceased date: October 18, 2013

    Lowell, MA — Charles Alfred Dickman, 88, son of John and Mildred Dickman of Gloucester, born June 6, 1925, passed away October 18, 2013, after a lengthy illness. He is survived by his wife, Maryline and his two daughters, Inga …read more

  • Eugene H. Goss ’70

    Deceased date: September 19, 2013
    SPRUCE HEAD - Eugene Herbert Goss, 65, died peacefully, Thursday, September 19, 2013, surrounded by his family at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Born in Rockland, January 6, 1948 he was the son of Donald and Marion (Mullen) Goss. He…read more
  • Robert P. Gregoire, 86

    Deceased date: September 18, 2013

    SOMERS, Conn. -- Robert P. Gregoire, 86, of Somers, Conn., widower of Norma Jean (Clay) Gregoire (2007), who was the love of his life, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. He was born on June 17, 1927, in Sanford…read more

  • Arnold Svelling ’56

    Deceased date: September 7, 2013
    Arnold Svelling, SR., born July 15th, 1935 died September 7,2013 at the age of 78 at home in Sebastian, FL. He was born in Barnegat Light, NJ, and lived in Sebastian for 40 years, coming from Manahawkin, NJ. He was a graduate from the Maine Maritime Acade…read more
  • Harry E. Bolster ’53

    Deceased date: September 1, 2013

    Commander Harry E. Bolster, USN (ret) passed away September 1, 2013 at Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville, NC and was a resident of Lake Wylie, SC. He is the son of the late Harry E and Etta Bolster of Gardiner, ME, and is a gra…read more

  • William Siemann ’64

    Deceased date: August 22, 2013
    BELFAST - William Siemann, 71, died at his residence on Aug. 22, 2013, doing what he loved doing the most; sitting on his couch watching the stock market on one TV and a movie on his other TV next to him. Billy was born on Oct. 30, 1941, to Frederick Wil…read more
  • Eric W. Peterson ’69

    Deceased date: August 21, 2013
    GRAYS RIVER — Eric W. Peterson, 66, of Grays River succumbed to colon cancer on Aug. 21, 2013. Born in Old Town, Maine on March 25, 1947, he was the son of Herman and Evelyn (Wyman) Peterson. He graduated from Stearns High School in Millinocket, Maine a…read more