Eight Bells

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

  • George E. Sanborn ‘43-2

    died November 19, 2018, with his wife by his side. Sanborn was born in Portland, Maine, and attended Portland schools, graduating from Deering High School in 1939. He attended Gorham Normal School. At the start of World War II, he tried to enter the U.S. Air Force. When that fell through, he went to the Maine Maritime Academy, graduating with their second class in 1943. He entered the U.S. Navy as an Ensign, serving in the Pacific on two supply ships. While his ship stayed by Iwo Jima (they had a full hospital on board) he happened to be on deck to see both flags go up on Mount Suribachi. After the war, he served in the Atlantic on a ship bringing troops home. Sanborn was pleased to be made full Lieutenant a few years after the war. In October 1943 he married his school sweetheart, Hazel Louise Frank, with whom he had beautiful twin girls, Suzanne and Dianne. After the war, he finished his education by teaching and doing odd jobs while getting his masters at UNH and his PhD at Teachers College at Columbia University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. Sanborn went to work for the Connecticut State Department of Education as Chief of School Building Services. In 1997, he married fellow sax player, Ann Woodworth Clark, and for 12 years they went to Jazz Camp for a week and enjoyed playing jazz with the other campers in a number of their bands. After retiring, he returned to Maine to be near older family members.

  • Earl C. Kidder ‘46

    of Auburn died on January 31, 2019, with his loving family by his side. He was born in Mexico, Maine, was educated in Mexico schools, and entered Maine Maritime Academy after high school. He married Barbara J. Blocker of Rochester, New York, in 1952. Kidder worked for Mobil Oil, was owner of Rita Personnel, and worked at Bancroft and Martin, Stauffer Chemicals, and held many supervisory positions as a constructional engineer. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict. During his working years he liked spending time at his camp on Maranacook Lake.

  • Arnold True Hocking ’47

    died on February 17, 2019. Hocking was born in St. George, Maine, where he began his scholastic endeavors attending a one-room schoolhouse alongside his twin sister. Valedictorian of St. George High School in 1945, he continued his education at Maine Maritime Academy, graduating in 1947, then served as third mate on several tankers for the Texas Oil Company. Returning to the University of Maine in 1949 to pursue his degree in mechanical engineering, he became a bastion of support to his mother after the sudden death of his father in 1951, which not only changed the course of his life but also cultivated the character of a man who would care for so many throughout his lifetime. Graduating with his degree in 1953, he returned to the Rockland area to marry his beloved Sylvia. Two months after they married, he was called to active duty with the U.S. Navy, where he served as the engineering officer on the USS Tarawa. He left the Navy in 1955 to return home to Maine to begin his own family, tend to his widowed mother, and work alongside his brother at the Hocking Granite Quarry on Clark Island, which they successfully operated until a fire devastated the business in 1969. Following the fire, he worked as construction project manager at cement plants around the country, eventually becoming plant engineer for the Martin-Marietta cement plant in Thomaston. After the plant was sold, he worked as an engineering consultant for Federal Marine Colloids in Rockland, officially retiring in 1999. He also served on the local school board, was a town selectman, and was active in the Lions Club for many years. what was right regardless of the cost was the substance of his life. The loss of his father at a young age made him a quick study in human nature, and those lessons followed him throughout life.

  • Clifford R. Cameron Sr. ’49

    died on February 11, 2019. He was born in Rockland, Maine, and spent his boyhood days with friends in the Midcoast. His early times were spent on the waters of Penobscot Bay as a bosun of the Rockland Sea Scouts and on Lake Megunticook with family, forming a passion for the water that he would carry throughout his life. A graduate of Rockland High School (1946) and then MMA in 1949, he served 24 years as a Naval officer, with duties on Patrol Craft, icebreaker Burton Island, the Sixth Fleet flagship cruiser Little Rock, and Defense Intelligence tours in Vietnam, Iceland, and at the Pentagon. He married Betty Stetson, of Camden, in 1950, and they shared a busy life with the military and then with the local Camden community, when he retired at the rank of commander in 1974. Upon retirement he worked for the Allen Agency and then ultimately started his own insurance business, Maine Life and Health Services. He was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars, a passionate member of Maine Maritime Academy Alumni Association and the Academy Board of Trustees, The Propeller Club, and Camden Lions Club. He was known as a wonderful soul, quick with a joke and a friendly word.

  • Mr. Richard E. Marriner ‘50

    died on November 6, 2018, at the age of 89.

  • Roger P. Ouellette ‘54

    died on Monday, January 28, 2019, at the age of 85. He was born in Biddeford, attended local schools, graduated from Livermore Falls High School, and then from Maine Maritime Academy with a B.S. degree in marine engineering. After a brief period in the merchant marines, Ouellette returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Jane Burbank. They lived in Key West, Florida, while Ouellette served on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Upon returning to Livermore Falls, Ouellette joined his parents in the family furniture business. He was active in many civic and community organizations. He devoted years to scouting, rural health, and the library trustees.

  • Peter W. Smallidge ‘56

    died November 13, 2018, at his home in Somesville, Maine. While growing up in Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor, he attended and graduated from Mount Desert High School. After high school he went to Maine Maritime Academy. While at MMA he made many lifelong friends. He enjoyed getting together with his classmates over the years and recounting their antics. On the day after he graduated from MMA, he married his high school sweetheart, Sheila. They celebrated their 62nd anniversary in June. Smallidge went shipping for a short time after graduation and then accepted a position at Warren Pumps in Warren, Massachusetts, where he worked for 15 years. He was drawn to Maine, and moved back with his family in 1972. At first he was employed at Brewer Electric, and shortly thereafter purchased what was C.E. Wallace Plumbing & Heating in Northeast Harbor. He changed the name to MDI Service Corp. and successfully operated and grew the business for many years. He sold the business and enjoyed a brief retirement before going back to work in a partnership with Robert Young at Northeast Plumbing and Heating. Smallidge served on the board of directors at the Bar Harbor Savings and Loan Association and on the Northeast Harbor ‘Harbor Committee’ for many years. Perhaps his greatest joy, especially in later years, was his time spent at Dry Kye, his rustic camp on Third Debsconeag Lake in northern Maine. While Smallidge loved the solitude found at the lake, he also enjoyed sharing this special spot with many friends and especially with his grandchildren.

  • Walter K. Seman ‘58

    passed away quietly in Venice, Florida, January 5, 2019 after battling an aggressive form of skin cancer (merkel cell carcinoma). For two years he endured the operations, trips to Moffitt Cancer Center, and local medical appointments with his customary good humor and quiet demeanor. He lived with his wife, Marcia, in a retirement community in Venice. He was born in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and attended public schools in Sandy Hook and Newtown. After graduating from Maine Maritime Academy as a naval officer, he was assigned to the USS Grand Canyon, which deployed to the Mediterranean during a crisis in Lebanon. After leaving the Navy he was employed by Gulf Oil Corporation in the New York office of the marine transportation unit as a senior engineer. During free time he occasionally joined his grandparents at Oak Beach on Long Island where they owned a cottage, and this is where he met his future wife. They married in 1962 and within three years moved to Port Arthur, Texas, starting a long journey of overseas travel to inspect oil tankers for routine dry-dockings, as well as assessing damage to ships caused by bad weather and accidents at sea. A move to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1967 with two small children afforded many opportunities for European travel. During the gas crisis of 1974 the family relocated to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Seman continued to work for Gulf Oil in the Philadelphia office as a senior port engineer and was an assistant scoutmaster for his son’s troop. His engineering skills were put to work on many do-it-yourself projects, which he handled easily, as well as taking care of an acre of land and a big garden. Houston was the next stop, but only briefly. What was not anticipated was a buyout of Gulf Oil by the Chevron Corporation and a move to the West Coast where they settled in Walnut Creek. Weekends were for exploring the wine country, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe. Soon thereafter, Seman took an early retirement from Chevron, and the logical place to retire was Florida, which they had visited often to see Marcia’s parents. Vacations followed in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, with children and grandchildren, as well as Elderhostel visits to Presidents’ homes and historic cities along the Atlantic coast. One summer they retraced the route of Lewis and Clark as much as possible. Seman was a Shriner and affiliated with Sahib Shrine Temple in Sarasota in the mariners unit. He never missed a parade. He studied for and received a residential contractor’s license, built a few homes in Venice, and lived in two of them. A lifelong Episcopalian, Seman served on the vestry for four years, was a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and ushered for many years.

  • Michael G. Thorner ‘60

    died February 4, 2019. He was a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and a resident of Norfolk, Virginia, since 1975. Lieutenant Commander Thorner graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1960 and served his country in the U.S. Navy for 20 years.

    He was a Vietnam War veteran who served two tours. He later opened a maritime consulting firm, Thorner-Lawrence Associates, Inc., and worked for numerous shipyards as an independent Marine Engineer. He was also a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church and the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. Thorner loved his country and the U.S. Navy. He was always full of life and enjoyed talking with friends. Thorner also kept a special place in his heart for his family.

  • Thomas A. Farnsworth ’65

    died on December 21, 2018. Farnsworth was born on April 20, 1943, in Portland, Maine, to Richard Farnsworth and Diane Turner Roberts. Farnsworth received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Maine Maritime Academy and served as a merchant mariner for about five years. He then moved to Maryland, where he transitioned into a career with NAVSEA focused on naval ship design projects for the next 28 years.

    On July 13, 1968, he married Carol Taute, and they raised three children in White Plains, Maryland. In retirement, they moved to Cobb Island and enjoyed 14 years of quiet mornings on their front deck drinking coffee and admiring the waterfront view.

  • Michael R. Giroux ’71

    died on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. A good death is made possible from a life well lived. He was a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and spent his career as a chief engineer, traveling the world on oil tankers to ports such as Valdez, Alaska. Giroux was an extremely youthful 69 years old. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to his neighbors and enjoyed a daily round of golf and spending time with his friends.

  • Marshall E. Thompson ’71

    died on May 6, 2018. He was born in Ellsworth and graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1971. Thompson worked many years at Eastern Fine Paper, Bangor Hydro, and Husson College. He took pride in the home he built for his family and lived in comfortably for 40 years.Thompson enjoyed his time with his family and friends.

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/.