Eight Bells

The tradition of Eight Bells pays respect to deceased mariners and signifies that a sailor’s “watch” is over.

  • JOHN W. EDEN ’47

    died February 11, 2012. A former Assistant Secretary of Commerce during the Ford Administration, Eden joined Russell Reynolds in Washington, DC, where he developed a reputation for identifying quality individuals to lead numerous companies and organizations.

    He was twice a candidate for U.S. Congress in the 19th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Eden graduated from Maine Maritime, had a B.A. degree from Yale University and served in the U.S. Navy. He served on the Board of Directors of B.A. Ballou & Company in East Providence, Rhode Island. An avid golfer, he was a President of the U.S. Seniors Golf Association and an advisor to the LPGA.


    died August 21, 2013. He graduated from MMA as a marine engineer. Peterson moved to Washington State and began his 40-year sea-going career in 1969 as an engineer with American Mail Lines and then as a chief engineer for American President Lines. He was an avid sportsman enjoying fly fishing, salmon fishing on the Columbia River and bird-hunting.


    died August 25, 2015 in Gainesville, Georgia. After graduating from MMA, he worked in several engineering capacities. Snyder moved with his family to Florida in 1973, and became Maintenance Manager with CF Industries in Plant City. Snyder settled for a time in Auburndale, Florida, where he put his engineering training to work by personally building his home.

    He eventually put down roots in the North Georgia mountains where he, once again, beautifully crafted his own home. Snyder was always one to help others, and often used his carpentry and engineering skills to lend a hand. He was also a lifelong boater, enjoying time on a live-aboard sailboat and recently built his own vessel to sail on Lake Rabun.


    died January 6, 2017. Because of his family, he had early association with ships and sailors, and in 1940, shipped out as an ordinary seaman when he was 15. He worked as a rivet passer on Liberty Ship construction in 1942 and volunteered for military service later that year. During the war, Rodway served on two destroyer escorts, the troop transport Wakefield and other vessels operated by the Coast Guard. While assigned to the Wakefield, he participated in rescuing the Catholic bishop from China just prior to the communist takeover. He was discharged from the service in 1946 with the rating of Quartermaster Second Class. He obtained his Unlimited Third Mate license in 1947 and
    served on several ocean tankers, alternating between seagoing and college. In 1948, he was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve. He received B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Syracuse University.

    After graduating from college, Rodway worked for the American Mutual Insurance Company, and the DuPont Corporation in their executive training programs. In 1954, he returned to Portland, Maine and started his own real estate and insurance business.

    He was active in the Naval Reserve as an instructor and staff officer with the Naval Reserve Officer’s School. Rodway served tours at the Pentagon and Anti-Submarine Warfare School in Key West, Florida. During this period, he also taught business and management courses at the University of Southern Maine.

    In 1963, at age 38, Rodway was appointed as the first non-flag rank superintendent of MMA for a year.

    Later, he served on various merchant ships, as well as vessels of the Military Sealift Command. In 1969, while serving as a deck officer on the tanker Amoco Louisiana, an explosion occurred that killed one man and injured several others, including Rodway, as he and two officers attempted to save the life of a trapped seaman. The Maritime Commission awarded him the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal, the highest honor awarded to merchant seamen by the U.S. government.

    On January 21, the MMA flag was brought to half staff in Rodway’s honor.


    died June 17, 2016 in Salem, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College, Class of ‘46, and was on the rowing team. At the outbreak of World War II, he left Harvard and entered the Maine Maritime Academy. He served as a commanding officer on supply and troop ships in the Atlantic and Pacific. At the time of his passing, Alles was retired from his career in the insurance industry for more than a decade.


    died November 20, 2016 in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from MMA, he worked as a first engineer in the Merchant Marine, then joined the U.S. Navy as a commissioned officer and served during WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He served in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and South Pacific. He graduated from UNC, Chapel Hill and was a great adventurer who loved to travel throughout the world. He was known to sometimes conclude conversations with “Hold fast!” In his memory, donations may be made to the Howard B. Finley Scholarship Fund, Maine Maritime Academy, 1 Pleasant Street, Castine, ME 04420.


    died November 20, 2016 in Cape Coral, Florida. As part of the last three-year class at MMA he went on to sail with American Export lines, and in 1963, was appointed to the NS Savannah training program at Kings Point. After sailing aboard Savannah, he joined the Atomic Energy Commission, now known as the NRC. Keimig was attached to the Philadelphia office and was present for the Three Mile Island accident investigation.


    died December 18, 2016 in Castine, Maine. He had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army in Human Intelligence and Counterintelligence assignments and served as the first Military Intelligence Advisor to Saudi Arabia. He commanded all four MI Groups: the 902nd, 149th, 500th, and the Field Activities Command. He was assigned to the Pacific theater during World War II and transitioned from the 4.2 Mortar Battalion, 24th Infantry Division to the 441st Counter Intelligence Corps Training School in Tokyo following the war. In 1948, Bagot returned to the U.S. and continued work in the field of military intelligence at Fort Holabird in Maryland. By 1950, he was promoted to a Military Occupational Specialist. In 1962 in Heidelberg, Germany, he worked in the office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. He eventually returned to the Pentagon and the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI), where he was promoted to Colonel.

    Bagot’s career took another turn when he went to Vietnam in 1967 as the Commanding Officer of the 149th MI Group. Later, the ACSI assigned him to a task force to organize the U.S. Field Activities Command. He remained with this unit until 1970 when he became Commander, 500th MI Group in Hawaii. By 1972, Bagot returned to the Office of the ACSI as Chief, Operations Division and then Executive
    Officer to the ACSI. In 1974, he retired from the Army. In 1988, he was inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

    A “second career” in Castine at MMA started in 1974, when Bagot was named Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Personnel Officer, as Lieutenant Commander. He was promoted three times, concluding his time as Acting Superintendent. He was an Admiral within the MMA ranks, and officially retired in 1987.


    died December 15, 2016. Before attending MMA, he left home in Gardiner, Maine, for Alaska, to work in the fishing industry. After graduation, he traveled the world as a first mate until coming ashore to live a simple life, where he treasured nature and his family.


    died December 20, 2016 in Wayne, Illinois. After MMA, he served in the Navy and Merchant Marine, and shot skeet competitively, before moving to Detroit in 1955 to begin his career in industrial machine tool sales. Following a business opportunity he moved to Chicago where he started Jenkins Machine and Tool, which he led for more than 50 years. Jenkins was happiest telling stories and shooting skeet; he kept up both hobbies well past his 90th birthday.


    died December 24, 2016. As a merchant marine, McIver traveled the seas to many countries. Leaving the sea for land, he began his steam and power engineering career at Georgia Pacific in Woodland, Maine. In 1976, McIver and his family moved to Shawmut after he had secured a position as a shift supervisor with Scott Paper Company. His 25 years there garnered him loyal friends and co-workers, as he took on his responsibilities of writing operational and safety manuals, conducting training sessions, and then becoming manager of the Recovery Department under S.D. Warren, later becoming a consultant for SAPPI after his retirement in 2001. His love of Maine’s woods, especially North Brook, graced him with many opportunities for simply being in the great outdoors.


    died December 31, 2016 in West Tremont, Maine. After receiving his B.S. in Marine Engineering Operations from MMA, he worked for McDermott International on the Derrick Barge 50, and was promoted to Second Assistant Engineer. While usually working in the Gulf of Mexico, Gridley was also able to travel to Trinidad and Tobago and to Brazil for work. In his earlier years, and occasionally while he was home from the DB50, he would lobster. He loved being at sea, working hard, being with friends and coworkers, and doing workshop projects.


    died January 11, 2017 in Swanzey, New Hampshire. He graduated from MMA with a degree in Marine Engineering. He was a chief engineer for Texaco, on oil tankers, for 20 years. He finished his career working for the City of Keene, first as Water and Wastewater Utilities Maintenance Foreman, then as Airport Operations and Maintenance Foreman. He retired in 2010.

    Hanscom was a kind man with remarkable mechanical skills and creative talents. He touched countless people through his extraordinary ability to craft, repair and design projects of all descriptions.

    Whether building a barn, turning a bearing, crafting stone walls, welding, woodwork, home renovations, forestry or math…there was nothing he could not make or fix.

  • JOHN GRARD ’75

    died January, 14, 2017 in Florida. He was a marine engineer, sailing on the Great Lakes for most of his career. Grard was a very kind and generous man who loved to garden, hunt and fish. What he loved most was spending time with his family.


    died January 22, 2017 in Hopewell, New Jersey. He was affectionately known as “Patutu,” “P-Klaby” by family and loved ones.

  • ROBERT E. CORT ’53

    died January 25, 2017 in Bangor, Maine. He earned his Marine Engineering degree from MMA and entered the Merchant Marine as a 3rd assistant engineer, where he worked for two years. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy for two years, serving in Japan and Korea. After the military, Cort began working with his father in the family business, then known as Maine Coal Sales. He earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Husson College in 1962, while also working full-time in the family business. He succeeded his father as president of the company in 1968, and later the company name was changed to Maine Energy Inc. The company acquired Maine Propane Distributors in 1983. Cort then expanded the business by launching Maine Propane Energy in 1987, Maine Energy Leasing in 1989, and Maine Energy Realty, LLC, in 2000. The most recent addition to the company’s portfolio was Hammond Street Holding, LLC, in 2013. In 2005, Cort was named a MMA Outstanding Alumnus and his name was added to the school’s Wall of Honor. Husson University conferred Cort with the honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration in 2015.

  • JAMES A. BEAL ’65

    died January 27, 2017 in Highland, Michigan. After graduating from MMA, he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy and later retired from the Naval Reserve, after 26 years as a captain. Beal also sailed for Gulf Oil Corporation before coming ashore in 1968. Beal worked in the automotive industry in sales, program and account management, until his retirement in 2005. He always enjoyed seeing fellow alumni when back in Maine for reunions.


    died February 10, 2017 in Bangor, Maine. After graduation from MMA, he served in World War II on the vessel James E. Howard and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard/Merchant Marine. MacDonald settled to raise a family in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and worked for the Schiller Power Plant for some years until managing his own service station through the 1960s. In 1974, MacDonald upgraded his Merchant Marine license to Chief Engineer and returned to the sea, mainly sailing from New York and Beaumont, Texas. He retired and
    eventually relocated back to Bangor in 1998.


    died February 12, 2017 in Portland, Maine. He graduated with the second class of MMA, and immediately began serving as an officer on Liberty Ships during World War II, crossing the Atlantic many times while bringing supplies to the troops. He worked as an agent and sales manager for Prudential Insurance for more than 28 years and retired in 1987. He was a former president of the Southern Maine Association of Life Underwriters, and, in 1982, received the J. Putnam Stevens Award from the Maine Association of Life Underwriters for his charitable work. He was a member of the Portland Lodge of Elks No. 188, and served as Exalted Ruler of the Lodge and as a District Deputy for Maine.


    died February 12, 2017 in Biddeford, Maine. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 and received a warrant officer appointment while stationed at Fort Eustis, Virgina. He also was a chief of navigational instruction and a decorated Vietnam veteran, serving as Captain of several Army ships. Upon his honorable discharge in 1970, he became a master of ships and spent many years as
    Master Mariner in the Merchant Marine. Peterson also spent 10 years at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough, working as the liaison between the patients and the Veterans Administration. In addition, he was employed for eight years at Deering

  • PETER M. CYR ’95

    died February 21, 2017 in Durham, Maine. After MMA, he worked on oil rigs around the world, including the Deepwater Horizon, where he was Chief Mate, but became the captain of his own rig starting with Discover Enterprise, and then other oil rigs and ships, worldwide. He enjoyed traveling to Asia especially, but loved working with people of all backgrounds, and only expected of his
    crew what he would do himself.


    died February 26, 2017 in North Hampton, New Hampshire. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Nautical Science from MMA and was the youngest student to graduate in his class. An excellent athlete, he played football at MMA. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict, as well as the Merchant Marines, earning his Chief Mate Unlimited in 1963. He worked as a Portsmouth River Pilot until his retirement in 2000. He was blessed, for a time, to be one of three Shirley Holt’s working as Portsmouth River Pilots together, as his dad and granddad were both still on the river. He was also fortunate to work as partners with his brother Capt. Richard C. Holt, Sr., for many years, as well as his sons. His passion for the water led him and his brother to charter the Portsmouth Propeller Club in 1975, after holding membership in the Portland Propeller Club and Portland Marine Society.


    died January 14, 2017 in Sebastian, Florida. He graduated with a B.S. in Marine Engineering and then shipped with Texaco, as an engineer, before working for General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut, as a nuclear test engineer in the submarine program. In the fall of 1964, he returned to MMA and taught Nuclear Power Engineering. In addition to teaching, he was involved with the football team under the direction of Coach Davis Wiggins, coached the International Life Boat Rowing Team, and was an advisor to the Scuba Club and the Hockey Club. In 1968, he started the Cadet Shipping Program, which was the first Cooporative Education program at the academy. He also served as the Director of Placement until leaving for graduate school. In 1971, he
    completed his Masters in Education at the University of Maine and then entered the doctoral program at Indiana University in Administration of Higher Education. In 1972, he returned to work for Texaco as New Construction Superintendent for ship building in Europe. He returned to MMA in 1978, teaching the Power Engineering Lab. After a fire on the TS State of Maine, Spinazola developed a Shipboard Fire Training program. This was the first maritime academy U.S. Coast Guard-approved program of its kind, and continues to this day. He was a long-time member of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and served as Chair of the New England section of SNAME. He started the student chapter of SNAME on campus. In 1986, when the enrollment at the academy had dipped below 400 students, he introduced the first non-uniformed and non-merchant marine program at the academy, Marina Management and Small Vessel Operations. From this program followed additional non-traditional degree programs and career paths for students. In 1995, he retired from MMA, Professor Emeritus.

  • JOHN V. SAWYER ’54

    died March 9, 2017 in Machias, Maine. After graduation from MMA, he sailed for a short time on an oil tanker and served two years in the U.S. Navy as Operations Officer on the USS Ruchamkin. Upon discharge from the Navy, he worked in Boston and New York, as an ocean marine insurance underwriter. He returned home in 1970 to run and operate Worcester-Sawyer Agency. John served on the board of directors of Union Trust Company in Ellsworth for 32 years and was chairman for 17 years. He had a certificate of insurance from Northeastern University, was a certified insurance counselor, and a licensed real estate broker.


    died March 11, 2017 in Durham, Maine. He served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve. He retired from General Electric where he was a manager in marine propulsion systems. After retirement, he was an owner of TAB Services International, a consulting service. He was on the Board of Trustees and active in the Boy Scouts, and in the Maple Street Church, Danvers, Massachusetts.
    Lapham also volunteered at several militaryrelated museums and at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Memorial contributions may be made to Maine Maritime Academy, 1 Pleasant St, Castine, ME 04420.


    died March 27, 2017 in Palm City, Florida. After graduation from MMA, he traveled the world as a Merchant Marine. He was last employed as an engineer with South Florida Water Management District. Gallagher loved fishing, golfing, cooking and Boston sports teams.


    died March 31, 2017 in Bainbridge Island, Washington. After serving in the U.S. Navy, the majority of his career was spent with subsidiaries of Union Carbide, including Linde, in Southern California, Domsea Aquaculture, on Bainbridge Island, and London Chemical, in Chicago, Illinois. He retired in 1990 as president of KTI Chemical in Sunnyvale, California and built the Charley
    J, his dream commercial tuna fishing boat. Several years of summers fishing were enjoyed in Maine and winters spent on Bainbridge Island.


    died April 3, 2017. He joined Pacific Pumps in 1962 as a test engineer and progressed to developing equipment in the refinery field, holding 9 patents on equipment being used worldwide.


    died April 5, 2017. He spent 30 years at sea, the last 20 years as Master. He came ashore in 1997. Thorpe continued his career as a marine surveyor until retirement in 2011.


    died April 19, 2017. After graduation from MMA, he began a career of 42 years with the Lykes Steamship Company. As a first mate with the MSTS during the Vietnam War, he braved enemy fire to carry military cargo to shore. He quickly worked his way to the position of Captain. He later came stateside, serving as Port Captain for Houston and New Orleans, and Manager of Marine Division in New Orleans, and later as Compliance Manager in Tampa. Bowditch’s leadership and merchant expertise, known worldwide, was a guiding force for many organizations.

    He was honored to serve as a member of the Council of American Master Mariners, Executive Committee member to VOHMA, on the Board of Governors for the Maritime Security Council, member of the Navigation Safety Advisory Council, and appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Navigation Safety Advisory Council.

    He was also a member of Propeller Club of America. As a dedicated volunteer paramedic and firefighter, Bowditch served his communities in Texas and Louisiana, and is credited with saving many lives. The water was his life blood. Bowditch looked forward to regattas, racing his 26’ McGregor on Lake Pontchartrain, Galveston Bay and Tampa Bay. He was Commodore of the Bahia Beach Yacht Club in Ruskin, Florida.

    His strength was unmatched, as he remained a fierce competitor into his late 60s, competing in long distance (50-plus mile) kayak races. In 2009, Bowditch retired to the serene lake and woods of Sebago, Maine. The Portland Marine Society welcomed him into the membership of professional seaman where he served as President for two years.

    Donations in his memory can be made to the MMA Scholarship Fund, Maine Maritime Academy, 1 Pleasant Street, Castine, ME 04420.

Submissions for Eight Bells

If you learn of the passing of an 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.

A complete listing of Eight Bells can be found at mainemaritime.edu/mariners-forever/category/eight-bells/.