Eight Bells

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

  • Capt. Chester I. Hopkins III ’62

    died March 10, 2017 in Portland, Maine. Hopkins graduated from MMA as a Deck Officer. Upon graduation, he immediately went to work and sailed for American Export Lines. He was employed by the company for 17 years, moving from sea to shore in 1969, where he worked in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and England. From 1979 to 2005, he worked for several different shipping companies before retiring as Vice President of Operations for the French shipping line, CMA-CGM Maritime. He, and his wife Catherine, moved to Damariscotta where he volunteered at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath for 10 years and was an active member of St. Patrick’s Church in Newcastle. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, and was a former Grand Knight.

  • Charles B. Doughty ’54

    died May 5, 2017 in Rockport, Maine. He was a lifelong resident of Vinalhaven and spent winters in Port Richey, Florida, playing golf, going to dances, dinners and shows until the last few years when he was unable to participate. Cameron was a US Navy veteran and served in the Korean War. He retired as an Engineer from the Maine State Ferry Service several years ago. He was also a member of the VFW.

  • Timothy H. Bernard ’52

    died May 9, 2017 in Bath, Maine. While attending MMA, he played on the football team. Bernard was Chief Engineer in the maritime industry. He worked for Cities Services and American Maritime Officers. In retirement, he was a lobsterman in South Harpswell, learned to skate, and loved his three golden retrievers, Happy, Molly, and Lilly, so much that he was known to his family as the Dog Father. He was very proud of his grandchildren. He enjoyed feeding the birds, working on his property, tinkering in his shop, and cheering for the Boston Bruins.

  • Peter C. Robinson ’66

    died May 24, 2017 in Bath, Maine where he lived for more than 50 years with his wife, Pam. After graduating from MMA where he said he learned the tools for his many successes in life, he shipped out for American Export Isbrandtsen as Third Engineer on the SS Constitution. Later, he became a test engineer for DeLaval Turbine Division in Trenton, New Jersey where he worked for more than 35 years a number of promotions, including Operations Manager of Condenser Division, making condensers for fast attack submarines for five years, including the USS Seawolf, and later retiring as Director of Operations for the Turbine Division. He wasn’t retired for long when he was persuaded to return to work as Vice President of Operations for a World Wide Processing Company. Upon retirement again, he continued to do consulting work in the field of quality control for various companies but mainly for Capital Steel in Trenton, New Jersey. Robinson was an accomplished golfer who won many tournaments while at MMA, including the Superintendent’s trophy and others throughout his life. He prided himself on maintaining a single digit handicap even when he was in his 70s. In Robinson’s memory, donations are being made to Maine Maritime Academy, 1 Pleasant Street, Castine, Maine 04420.

  • Robert J. Kane ’55

    died June 3, 2017 in Palm Harbor, Florida. He came to MMA by way of Boston College. Bob or “Killer,” as he was affectionately known, was an independent and eccentric soul, enjoying the freedom of life. After a career at sea as an officer in the US Navy and Merchant Marine, he retired to an adventurous single life living with his two dogs in a mobile home, which had originally been a school bus. He loved watching the races at Daytona, Florida, and telling stories about his various interesting deeds, such as flying groceries to exotic Caribbean Islands. For years, he spent summers touring Canada and winters appreciating the more temperate weather at Fort De Soto in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kane had an artistic flare, a positive attitude and a quick sense of humor.

  • Peter A. Scontras ’50

    died June 4, 2017 in Kittery, Maine. At MMA he excelled in sports and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. Scontras was commissioned an ensign in the US Navy Reserve as an engineering duty officer. A Korean War veteran, he served on active duty aboard the USS Gainard. Following a short engineering tenure in the commercial sector, Scontras was hired by the Navy Department, Bureau of Ships in Washington D.C. as a design engineer until transferring to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1961. There, he worked as a nuclear engineer, ultimately retiring in 1990 as the shipyard’s chief industrial engineer. Throughout his retirement, Scontras continued his athletic endeavors and was an avid runner, competing and winning numerous road races. He was ranked #5 among New England runners over 65 by New England Runner’s World magazine. In 2016, he was inducted into the MMA Athletics Hall of Fame for football.

  • Richard M. Newbegin ’66

    died June 6, 2017. He graduated from MMA with a degree in engineering.

  • Peter M. Thibeau ’66

    died June 18, 2017 in New London, Connecticut. He attended Husson College before enrolling in MMA where he graduated with a mechanical engineering degree. Thibeau was the first in his family to graduate from college. He entered the maritime industry after graduation and sailed for Texaco out of Port Arthur, Texas. In 1968, he went to work for General Dynamics Electric Boat as an engineering specialist. He retired in December 2003.

  • Mark T. Winslow ’87

    died in 2015 on the North Shore of Hawaii. He attained his Chief Engineer unlimited motor and steam license and worked both ashore and afloat. His last project was serving as the shoreside civilian port engineer for the USS Halsey while she was in the shipyard in Pearl Harbor. Winslow was an accomplished waterman and considered a world-class sailor, fisherman, windsurfer, surfer and stand-up paddler. He designed a carbon fiber stand up paddle and formed Neptune Paddles to mass produce them. A few years ago, he became interested in building drones and routinely used them to search out big wave surf breaks offshore, as well as scouting locations for sports fishing.

  • Clifford E. Harper ’51

    died June 28, 2017 in Rockland, Maine. He graduated from MMA with a Bachelor of Marine Science degree. In June 1958, he graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Harper was proud to serve as a Lieutenant JG with the US Navy from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean War, primarily aboard the USS Mt. McKinley. In 1961, Harper earned a Permanent Secondary Teachers Certificate in the State of New Jersey, where he taught science and mathematics before returning home to Maine. He worked over 30 years as a Quality Control Scientist at FMC Marine Colloids in Rockland. For many years, Harper was a member of the Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt American Legion, Post No. 1, and a life member and past Exalted Ruler of the Rockland BPO Elks, No.1008.

  • Arthur J. Gonya ’46

    died September 15, 2016 in Naples Florida.

  • Lester C. Wood ’57

    died July 11, 2017 in Augusta, Maine. He graduated from MMA as a Marine Engineer. The week after he graduated, he went to work for Gulf Oil Company on the Gulf Horn. He was drafted as the Chief Engineer on the ammunition ship AE-8 Mauna Loa. He then sailed for several years with United Fruit Company. He worked for Bangor Hydro Electric Company and then for Continental Insurance Company as a boiler machinery and elevator inspector. He worked for the Maine Bureau of Labor until his retirement December 1995 as Director of OSHA and the Maine Occupational Safety and Health programs. After retirement, Wood spent winters in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Over the years, he was active in many sports, playing basketball, baseball and later bowling and golf. He was a member of the Spring Brook Golf Club for over 35 years.

  • John B. Halley ’57

    died July 12, 2017 in Lincoln, Maine. Halley was born in Millinocket on May 4, 1936, to Richard and Marie Halley. After graduating from MMA he became a Merchant Marine. Halley later moved to Connecticut and was employed at Electric Boat. As Chief Refueling Engineer, he was instrumental in the installation of nuclear reactors in Trident submarines. The day after his retirement he returned to his beloved hometown, where he rebuilt a camp on Ambajejus Lake. His life passion was hunting and fishing, and he was an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan.

  • Frank P. Ryan ’70

    died July 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Florida.

    He graduated from MMA with a BS in Nautical Science and a Third Mate’s Unlimited license. He sailed American Export and Patriot ships until joining the ETC LNG Fleet in 1980. Ryan followed the sea for over 40 years, sailing in all Deck Officer Billets, including as Master. Upon graduation from MMA, Ryan accepted a commission in the US Navy Inactive Reserves; he received an Honorable Discharge in 1976 with the rank of LTJG. Ryan was the consummate seaman; thoroughly professional, highly skilled, dedicated and diligent; he loved the sea. He was bright, exceedingly clever and good humored; he could tell jokes for hours.

  • Theron ‘Ted’ Lamont Kropp, Sr.

    died peacefully at his home surrounded by family on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in Annapolis, Maryland. He was born on November 25, 1931, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He served his country honorably in Vietnam, and he was the Assistant Commandant of Midshipmen at Maine Maritime Academy for many years.

  • Paul Richard Birmingham ’58

    died May 25, 2016 in Seeley’s Bay, Ontario.

  • John B. Cochran ’47

    died August 9, 2017 in Hulls Cove, Maine. After graduating from MMA, he obtained a degree from the University of Virginia in 1954. Although Cochran grew up in Washington, DC, he knew from an early age that he would make his life on Mount Desert Island. In 1956, he founded the Bar Harbor Boating Company, first with Oliver Spear and then Joe Strout as his right hand, which he operated until his death. His yard specialized in building wooden power boats in the style of Down East lobster boats. Cochran was known for his dry wit and story-telling. In the early 1950’s, his stories were instrumental in the creation of the iconic “Bert and I” stories, depicting Maine fisherman and woodsmen with classic Maine humor. He was also an avid bird hunter who, with his beloved English Setters always at his side, enjoyed a lifetime of hunting.

  • Michael J. Joyce ’78

    died August 10, 2017 in Inverness, Florida. He studied marine engineering at MMA. Joyce was a member of the Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.) union. He sailed for Farrell Lines, and Maersk Lines for 32 years, spending the last 18 years as a chief engineer. After retiring in 2012, he and his wife Dian opened Joyce’s Courtside Pub in Inverness, Florida.

  • Donald R. Doornbos ’67

    died August 11, 2017 in Bluffton, South Carolina. After graduation from MMA he traveled the world as a Merchant Marine officer, and came ashore after 20 years of service as a chief engineer. He enjoyed sailing, skeet and trap shooting, tennis, his M38A1 jeep and model tiger tank, history, his home and community and traveling with his wife, Carol. Donations in his name may be made to Maine Maritime Academy Class of ‘67 Scholarship Fund, 1 Pleasant Street, Castine, Maine 04402

  • John P. Quincannon ’80

    died August 12, 2017 in Portland, Maine. He studied Marine Engineering at MMA. Quincannon sailed with the American Trading and Shipping Company out of New York and also with Texaco, until joining the Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association (MEBA). He sailed with MEBA for more than 20 years before retiring in 2013. Quincannon was a life-long contributor to the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine, and was a communicant of the former St. Patrick’s Church.

  • James T. Walsh ’64

    died August 15, 2017 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Walsh was a US Navy veteran, and was employed as a chief engineer in the maritime industry. He was a member of the Derry Lion’s Club. Mr. Walsh was a communicant of St. Thomas Aquinas in Derry where he was involved with the Holiday meal program. He loved his family and his dogs.

  • Brian G. Ayer ’66

    died August 30, 2017 in Augusta, Maine. surrounded by his family. He was a member of the Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association for 34 years and Pacific Coast District #1 (PCD). Ayer was employed by Lykes Brothers, American President Lines, Moore McCormick, Prudential Grace, Farrell Lines, United States Lines, and Sea Land CSX. He enjoyed Corvettes, boating, fishing, gardening, home defense (maintenance projects), traveling, dining out with friends and family, and collecting tools.

  • Phillip L. Chaples ’53

    died in September, 2017 in Newport News, Virginia. He retired from the US Army Transportation Corps at Ft. Dix, New Jersey as a major with 22 years of service.

  • Robert J. McKenna ’77

    died September 19, 2017 in Maine. He received his BS degree in Marine Engineering from MMA. “Bob” loved his family, friends and all he encountered in life, and they were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from him, among them: life is short, be a loyal friend and always keep in touch. His phone calls will surely be missed by all who knew him. Memorial contributions should be sent to MMA Annual Fund Scholarship program, Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine 04421.

  • John L. Dorr ’71

    died September 22, 2017 in Maine. Dorr retired in January and was able to fulfill his dream of returning to his home in Maine after more than 30 years serving the US government. Following his graduation from MMA, Dorr served in the US Navy in Vietnam and ultimately worked for the Department of Navy, most recently in the Military Sealift Command in Washington, D.C.

  • Lester R. Smallidge ’57

    died September 24, 2017 in Maine. After graduating from MMA, he went to work for Farrell Lines Shipping Co. Smallidge went to sea for 40 years and retired as a chief engineer in 1996. He had homes in both Cape Town, South Africa and Mount Desert Island until 1977, when he and his family moved to Pretty Marsh. Smallidge was an active member of the Somesville Union Meeting House and the Mount Desert Masonic Lodge, where he received the 50-Year Masonic Service Medal and held the office of Master from 2003-2004. Retirement to Smallidge meant time with family, his bottling business and woodworking projects.

  • Peter H. O’Meara ‘69

    September 27, 2017 in Maine. He graduated from MMA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Engineering and served in the maritime industry for four years, traveling to Asia, South America and Africa. O’Meara then worked in the pulp and paper industry for 12 years, mainly for Georgia Pacific Corp. in Baileyville and Gary, Indiana. The job that he liked the most was for Fastco Fabrication of Lincoln, Maine where worked for 17 years until his retirement in 2006.

  • Richard L. Renner ’56

    died in October, 2017 in Smethport, Pennsylvania. After MMA, he attended Lynchburg College, Nuclear Ship Savannah Program and graduated in 1959. He then attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received a degree in nuclear engineering in 1960. In 1978, he received a degree in business administration from Harvard University. From 1964 to 1966, he was employed at General Electric, 1966 to 1969 at Upjohn as a plant engineer, from 1969 to 1972 as a plant manager at Agway in Olean, New York. Renner then moved to Saudi Arabia and worked for the Arabian American Oil Company as Superintendent of Offshore Operations. In 1987, he became self-employed and engaged in transportation, real estate and construction in Filadelfia, Paraguay, South America.

  • Frederick ‘Butch’ Vernon Minson

    passed away at his home October 30, 2017. He was born February 5, 1946, in Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from Old Lyme High School. He attended the United States Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 1968. He led the academy’s sailing team as a team captain, and in 1966 they won the college National Sailing Championship, and in 1968 he won the college Single-handed National Sailing Championship. He also placed second at the U.S. Olympic trials to represent the United States in sailing. Minson attended MIT where he earned master’s degrees in both Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He served in the Coast Guard for 21 years, retiring as a commander. Following retirement, Minson coached the Maine Maritime Sailing Team for 14 years. He always said sailing wasn’t a hobby or a sport, but instead, a life-long addiction.

  • Richard S. Morris, Sr. ’67

    died October 11, 2017 in Maine. He received an engineering degree from MMA. Morris was a lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserve. As a Mariner, he shipped all over the world for nearly 10 years. He often said he had been to almost every port in the world. As his family began to grow in the 1970s, Morris came ashore and worked at Maine Yankee as a nuclear engineer. He was not there long before starting his own business, Maine-Land Enterprises. He earned all of his mechanical contract licenses as a master of electrical, plumbing, heating to solar, wind, gas and more. Morris was always on an adventure. He was a model Eagle Scout from childhood and taught Scout Masters throughout most of his adult life. He was an expert survivalist and taught those skills to folks of all ages. He was a firearms instructor, expert marksman, and taught self-defense. He loved the outdoors and helping others. He lived by the philosophy of “work hard, play hard and love until it hurts.”

  • West N. Ruroede ’83

    died October 21, 2017 in Greenport, Virginia. He graduated from MMA with a Marine Engineering degree and was self-employed.

  • Scott A. Kilian ’10

    died October 15, 2017. Kilian obtained a BS in Marine Transportation Operations from MMA, and was employed as a chief mate with US Shipping. He was an avid boater and sailor and attended Seacoast Church Mount Pleasant.

  • William C. Pollard ’66

    died October 30, 2017 in Maine. He graduated from MMA with a US Navy Commission, his Bachelor’s degree and license to sail as a third mate in the Merchant Marine. He preferred working on cargo freighter ships. During the Vietnam War he worked for Sealand Shipping and transported war supplies from San Diego to Saigon. He later came ashore and worked for Brown and Williamson for the next 25 years, but he and his family stayed close to Maine’s waters by spending their summers in a cottage on a lake in Casco. Pollard enjoyed boating, fishing and other water activities, especially with family. His work brought him to all areas of Maine, including some of the most remote parts of the state. As he approached retirement, he started to take travel and tourism classes in preparation for another career. He was hired by Maine Tourism and Information Center in Yarmouth as a manager. He enjoyed meeting people from around the world who shared their impressions of Maine and New England. He was a good listener and a very eager and friendly manager. Traveling, especially on the ocean, was his favorite past time.

  • Robert B. Rhoads ’45

    died November 2, 2017 in Old Town, Maine. Rhoads lost his parents at the age of 17 and decided to leave school his senior year to attend MMA. This was during WW II when a rapid buildup of the Merchant Marine was required with a critical need for engineering officers. But by the time he graduated, the war had ended. He sailed summers as a third engineer on merchant ships, while attending the University of Maine.

    He graduated in 1950 with a BS in Agricultural Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1951. He worked for farm equipment manufacturer in Michigan before accepting a teaching position at the University of Maine where he was Professor Emeritus of Bio-Resource Engineering and later became Associate Dean Emeritus of Resident Instruction. Rhoads was a dedicated advocate for his students and was admired and respected by students and colleagues alike. He was always active in the UMaine community, serving as an advisor to Alpha Gamma Rho Agricultural Fraternity, establishing Maine Ag in the Classroom, and helping to found the Page Farm Museum. He was an active member of the Orono United Methodist Church, where he gave back to his community through many types of service.

  • Carlton F. Edgecomb ’73

    died November 14, 2017 in Bangor, Maine. After graduating from MMA, he served 26 years in the US Army. Edgecomb worked as Water Treatment consultant for various companies, retiring after several years of employment as a boiler inspector for the state of Maine. He loved to travel; whether it was touring other countries, traveling state to state, or driving the back roads of Maine. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family, especially his daughters and grandchildren. He was a member of the American Legion Post #84 of Orono.

  • Albert V. Werner III ‘68

    died November 25, 2017 in Limington, Maine. At age 7, “Skip” found his lifelong passion when he obtained his license for lobstering. While at MMA, he was a Dean’s List student and also shined in football, rowing and on the track. His first job was as a merchant mariner delivering wartime supplies to Vietnam. After three years of shipping out, he returned to the US, bought a new lobster boat and became one of Portland’s top lobstermen and a waterfront icon. For the past 30 years, he fished with his boat, Foxie Lady. Throughout his lobstering career, Werner was known for his scientific approach to lobster trap design and fishing techniques. His incessant and gregarious commentaries over the boat’s VHF radio energized, entertained, and educated three generations of lobstermen. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Maine Maritime Academy, Development Office, Pleasant Street, Castine, ME 04420

  • Darryl E. Hagar ’85

    died November 29, 2017. After MMA, he entered the maritime industry as a third mate, attained the rank of Chief Mate, shipping throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. He aptly carried out many assignments throughout his long career sailing on supertankers, car carriers, and cargo ships, including the wartime logistics ships supporting the US Navy during the Persian Gulf War.

  • Donald D. Rosenberg ’50

    Lieutenant Commander Donald D. Rosenberg (RET.) passed away Sept. 25, 2016 with his family by his side. Rosenberg retired in 1969 after serving 25 years in the U.S. Navy. Following his retirement and upon entering the business world he moved to Houston, Texas with his family where he continued his public service by participating in various municipal functions. He was an avid collector of all things nautical and donated his extensive nautical pottery collection to his alma-mater, Maine Maritime Academy, (class of 1950) where it is now on permanent display.

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/.