Eight Bells

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

  • Cmdr. Herbert K. Ellingwood ’44

    died on April 1, 2012. Herb was a veteran of WW II and the Korean War. He retired from a career in commercial banking as well as from the Naval Reserve as a Commander. He was a loving family man and good friend with a wonderful sense of humor. Herb was an avid golfer and patriot.

  • Dr. Robert C. Ramsdell ’44

    died on January 20. Bob’s life was marked by his boundless curiosity and kindness. He loved to sail and travel, and was always ready for a new adventure. He graduated from Winchester High School and attended MMA where he graduated first in his class before serving in the Pacific in the Merchant Marines during World War II. After the War, Bob graduated from Tufts University and Tufts University School of Medicine. As a doctor he served in the U.S. Navy in Key West, before moving to Andover to establish his practice of more than 30 years.

  • Alan B. Rich ’44

    died on Feb. 25. He left Deering High School in his junior year to join the second class to graduate from MMA in 1944. He served on Liberty ships in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean in World War II. He remained a mariner at heart for the rest of his life. He started a plumbing and heating company which developed a well-earned reputation for professional workmanship and dependability. With the birth of his son, Alan embarked upon dedicated advocacy for the developmentally disabled. With a personal loan for $5,000 and a lot of recruited volunteer assistance he founded the Woodfords School for Trainable Children. From the original five students in the early ’60s, by 1980 The Woodfords School served nearly 200 students from Cumberland County. When services for the disabled were decentralized in the mid-80s, the school evolved into Woodfords Family Services.

  • Horatio C. Cowan, Jr. ’46

    died on May 8. Horatio (Ratio) grew up in Rockland. He graduated from MMA as a deck midshipman. Starting out on a freighter serving the northern European waters and then as a navigator on the SS United States, his ocean travels provided him with many adventures, including being iced in for two months in the North Sea. He enjoyed a 30-year career in GE’s gas turbine facility. After retiring in 1990, Ratio and Mary returned to Rockland and enjoyed sailing, gardening, grandchildren play dates and civic activities.

  • G. Raymond Mansfield, Jr. ’49

    died May 4. Ray was a graduate of Spaulding High School. He played football at MMA as quarterback, and served in the U.S. Navy from 1949 to 1959. He worked for Mobile Oil Company, was a foreman for General Electric and a production manager for Honeywell Company. In 1968 he was one of the founders of Modutec Inc. retiring in 1992. He enjoyed fishing, skiing, and was an avid athlete.

  • Edward L. Mossman ’50

    died May 7. After graduation, Edward sailed as an engineering officer in the Merchant Marine for Moore-McCormack Lines. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War as an engineering officer aboard the fleet oiler USS Chewaugam (AOG-50). After his Navy service, Edward enrolled in UNH and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, then accepted a job with Worthington Corporation. He worked in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Code 260 Design Division, then transferred to the newly formed PERA SS, now SUBMEPP, where he worked as supervisory Mechanical/Marine Engineering Department Head, until his retirement in 1983.

  • Clair A. “Nick” Nickerson ’51

    died on August 25, 2018. After graduating from South Portland High School, Nick graduated from MMA and was appointed ensign in the U.S. Maritime Service. After leaving the U.S. Merchant Marine, he served as an officer with the South Portland Police Department, eventually moving on to work at Houghton-Arnold Machinery in Portland. In 1967, Nick bought Winnisquam Beach Campground in Belmont, New Hampshire, and successfully operated the business until retiring to Florida in 1985. Nick then went to work for many years as a security supervisor at JM Family Enterprises. Nick was an outdoorsman with a passion for fishing and hunting. Some of Nick’s and his family’s fondest memories were made during trips to the family camp in central Maine. He also served for many years as a volunteer adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America at the troop and district levels.

  • Mr. Herschel S. Ellis, Jr. ’54

    died on May 29. He was born in Peru, Maine, son of the late Herschel and Lucy Ellis. He was a member of First United Methodist Church Mount Holly. He graduated 2nd in his class from MMA. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran. He retired from A&E after more than 25 years of service.

  • Earl U. Morin ’56

    died March 29. Known as “Earl the Pearl,” he graduated from MMA with a degree in Marine Engineering and was commissioned in the Navy where he proudly served from 1956 – 1959. He was an engineering officer aboard the USS Vermilion (AKA 107), but was especially proud of his years of service in the care of the USS Constitution “Old Ironsides” while stationed at The Boston Naval Shipyard. He accepted an opportunity to join the nuclear shipbuilding program at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) in 1967. In 1975, Earl was promoted to Vice President of Operations of Newport News Industrial Corporation, a position he held until his retirement in 1993.

  • Wayne L. Crowley ’57

    died on May 6. Wayne graduated from Addison High in 1954 and from MMA with a B.S. in Marine Engineering. Upon graduation he sailed with American Export Lines, making trips to ports in 86 countries. When Wayne started his family he moved his career on shore and began work with Travelers Insurance as an equipment and facilities inspector in their Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. offices. He once traveled the length of the Washington Monument for an inspection job. Wayne began his career in the shipbuilding industry in 1965, first working with General Dynamics in Groton as a test engineer and later as a senior design engineer on nuclear submarines. In 1976, he returned to Maine to work in the Engineering and Quality Control Departments of Bath Iron Works for decades. Wayne retired from Gibbs and Cox Navel Engineering Firm in Brunswick in 1999. Wayne moved to Wayne, Maine becoming “Wayne from Wayne.” He was an avid outdoors man as well as a sailor.

  • Mr. Blaine E. Davis ’57

    died July 21 in Portland, Maine. Blaine sailed as an engineer for the Moore-McCormack Lines throughout South America, East Africa, and the Baltic region of Europe. He was a retired naval officer; Lieutenant (j.g.) USNR. After his seafaring adventures, Blaine returned to college and graduated from the University of Maine (BSEE), Johns Hopkins University (Masters and Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics), and the MIT Sloan School (MBA). He worked initially at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Math Research and Systems Engineering in New Jersey. His last position was at AT&T headquarters heading various strategic planning and business development functions including the establishment of many of AT&T’s facilities and its corporate presence overseas.

  • Richard S. Lemoine ’60

    died on April 1 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He graduated from Morse High in 1955. He served in the National Guard and spent a year in California working for his brother before returning to Maine to attend MMA. In 1958 he married Judy in a secret ceremony as students were not allowed at the time to be married while attending MMA. After graduation, Dick went to work as a marine engineer. He stopped “shipping out” to be with Judy and the kids and went to work for Bath Iron Works until 1966, when he moved to Cleveland to take a position with the American Bureau of Shipping. Dick’s career with ABS would lead him to positions and adventures all around the world. He ran his own consulting business before settling into retirement in 1995.

  • Capt. Kent S. Webber ’60

    died on May 4, 2016 in Fairfax, Virginia.

  • Capt. Donald R. Fiske Sr. ’62

    died on March 17. From a young age, Don was drawn to the sea. He was mentored each summer by the fishermen of Cape Porpoise. He learned more about the ocean, waves, currents and winds that affect every size of vessel, and was thrilled as a kid whenever he was allowed to take the helm of a lobster boat. It was clear his destiny was in going to sea. He became a merchant mariner following graduation from MMA, serving as a deck officer with American Export and Isbrandtsen, and later as Captain on Sunoco tankers. After retirement Don served for more than 15 years as selectman for Kennebunkport, always respecting the part that fishermen play in that long-established community’s history and economy. He also served on the Alumni Board of MMA, and delighted in talking with enrolled students and those considering attending the school.

  • Lucien L. Dumont ’64

    died on April 6. Lou was raised in South Portland, Maine, graduating from South Portland High School in 1960 and then MMA. Lou’s career was an interesting and productive one working in the maritime industry. His experiences included chief engineer of oil tankers, their construction (including super tankers), port engineer, and maintenance supervisor with Transocean (overseeing one of the first offshore drilling vessels) before his retirement at the age of 72. His life was a collection of experiences with others and years of travel around the world.

  • Thomas A. O’Donnell ’64

    died on March 2. He was raised and educated in Salem, attending Salem High School, where he played football. He continued his education at MMA, a place that would have profound impact on his life, where he found great strength, discipline and lifelong friends. Tom began his professional career three days after graduation, with the Texaco Oil Company as a junior engineer. He spent five years with Texaco, rising in the ranks to chief engineer. He traveled the world, making his way through the Panama Canal, up the Mississippi River, and through the strait of Hormuz to the Persian Gulf. He visited almost every port in the European Sea, and traveled up and down both coasts of the United States. These were long hard days in the engine room but the reward of seeing the world from this unique perspective shaped the man he would become and in turn the lives he would touch. In 1969, he took a leave from Texaco and returned home to help with the second-generation family funeral business. He was a licensed funeral director for almost 60 years. He loved and lived to help those in need. No matter their background, beliefs, means or station in life, if you called Tom O’Donnell he was always there to help and always with a smile. He possessed greatness of character.

  • Daniel S. Hamblet ’66

    died on June 8 in Scarborough, Maine. He was born in Portland and was a graduate of Deering High School and then MMA.Dan spent the first 20 years of his career at sea as an engineer. When not at sea, Dan got involved in commercial real estate, and subsequently pursued that as a career under the name of Hamblet Development Real Estate for the next 10-plus years. In 1992, Dan became the owner/operator of two World Gym Fitness Centers in Portland and Brunswick. Dan joined his wife’s human resources consulting firm as its chief financial officer in 1998 and worked there until his retirement.

    Dan excelled in football in high school and at MMA. However, his most accomplished sports activity was weightlifting. Dan especially excelled in the deadlift and set a world record in 1989 by lifting 731 pounds in Graz, Austria. During the course of his 30-year career in this sport, he won 28 State Championships, 19 National Championships, and was a five-time World Champion. In May of 2016, Dan was inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame for his weightlifting.

  • Richard N. Drake, Jr. ’69

    recently passed away. He was born in Winterport, Maine in November, 1944. After MMA he became a chief engineer and sailed on merchant ships throughout the world. He was a passionate collector and dealer in antique civil war memorabilia. He loved spending time with family and friends.

  • Richard H. Bowen ’71

    died on May 16, 2010 in Portland, Maine. Born in Waterville, he was a graduate of Lawrence High School, Bridgton Academy and later, MMA where he was commissioned as an officer. Rick began his engineering career as a powerhouse supervisor at Christ Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey, before accepting a position as a planning coordinator at Jersey City Medical Center. From 1975 until 1979, he served as the assistant plant superintendent at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut where he helped design a renal dialysis unit and special care nursery. In 1979, he accepted the position of director of engineering at Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover, N.H., where he remained for almost 30 years. He was instrumental in guiding the hospital through multiple and complex building projects and renovations. He was loved and greatly respected at the hospital and in the community. He was soft-spoken, kind, and generous, always putting other people first in his personal and professional life. He loved living at the lake, fishing, boating, reading, and enjoying friends and family.

  • Gregory A. Hobbs ’73

    died on March 8. Greg was born and raised in Pittsfield, Maine. In his youth Greg enjoyed hunting and fishing with his Dad, along with skiing, golfing, and many organized sports. Greg graduated from MMA in 1973. After graduation he began his career with The American Steamship Company, a career that expanded 40 years. When Greg retired in 2012, he began his new career of playing golf. He and his wife bought a second home in Florida so they could enjoy the warm winter climate and he could enjoy playing golf all year round.

  • Mr. Robert W. Konieczko ’73

    died on June 11. He graduated from Monmouth Academy in 1969 and earned his degree in Navigation and Maritime Science in 1973, leading to a 31-year career as a merchant mariner. Bob achieved status of captain and navigated large ships all over the world. His seafaring years were spent on ships such as grain carriers, oil tankers, container ships, and Ready Reserve Force ships that were part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet. During those years he moved ready reserve ships in support of worldwide deployment of U.S. military forces during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was known to chart the ship’s course along the world’s best fishing routes and often had a line or two in the water. When not at sea, Bob’s life was full of family, friends, and projects. He loved fly fishing the local streams or trolling on Echo Lake. Fifteen years ago, Bob’s life changed resulting in the use of a wheelchair. He always made the most of it, creating a Christmas tree farm with over 6,000 trees. He loved sitting and watching friends and family pick out their annual Christmas tree. Many people came in to play a game of cribbage at his kitchen table, since there was always a challenge extended to his many visitors all year round. Most of all, Bob greeted everyone with his big smile and a personality that always filled the room. He was a wonderful person, who will be remembered by all who knew and loved him. His family extended to his friends from MMA’s class of 1973, with whom he had a brotherly bond that lasted throughout his life.

  • Capt. David H. Morway ’73

    died on March 18. He attended Fryeburg Academy, graduating in 1969. After his graduation from MMA in 1973, he worked for 38 years on the high seas with the U.S. Merchant Marine fleet. David traveled to 89 different U.S. ports, 126 foreign ports in 62 foreign countries. In 1986, Dave took command of the newly commissioned M/V Gus W. Darnell, his first charge as captain and the title he held for the latter 28 years of his career. An oil tanker, the Darnell was sub-contracted by the U.S. government to resupply many strategic fuel facilities around the world, including Tule, Greenland in the Arctic to McMurdo Station in the Antarctic, and all points in between. In 1998, David left the tanker industry and joined the government’s pre-position program stationed in the Persian Gulf until 2001. David finished his career on the Military Sealift Command’s Surge vessels. After his retirement in 2011, he volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, CIDER of So. Hero (building access ramps for the handicapped), and the SNAP program at Smugglers Notch Ski Resort assisting the handicapped with skiing.

  • Mr. George J. Roane ’74

    died on June 29 in Lewiston. In early life he was a boy scout and altar boy, and was involved in swimming, cross-country, wrestling, football, and band. George attended Mitchell School, St. Mary’s, Morse High, class of 1969, and Maine Maritime, class of 1974, as a marine engineer. After graduation he was involved in a car accident causing him to suffer a head injury which resulted in being a quadriplegic.

  • Mr. Dennis W. Bragg ’75

    died on March 23. Dennis was raised in a military family and lived in many places. After graduating from high school, he continued his education at MMA. He spent much of his life at sea as a chief engineer on tankers and cargo ships, all the time calling Pittsfield his home and enjoying the company of many wonderful friends and family. Dennis was a longtime, active member of the Elks Lodge in Pittsfield.

  • Mr. Robert M. Glander ’75

    died on June 25. Robert was a loving husband, devoted father, and avid hunter. He graduated from MMA in 1975 and worked for over twenty years as a captain of merchant vessels with American Maritime Officers, District 2 and retired with an unlimited masters license. He spent an additional 20 years with Glander Marine Services as a maritime consultant at the Port of Morehead City.

  • Mr. Peter J. King ’76

    died on July 5. A graduate of the Stearns High School Class of 1969, he graduated from MMA in 1976. His college career was interrupted when he was drafted during the Vietnam conflict and joined the Navy SeaBees. After basic training and service, he returned to MMA and was in the active reserves for several years. He worked for 30 years as a merchant marine engineer for ExxonMobil/SeaRiver Maritime. His favorite thing was enjoying time with family and friends. Pete could frequently be found golfing at Hillcrest Golf Club, fishing at “The Hunk”, hunting, or watching the Red Sox or Patriots. He enjoyed wintering in Florida following his retirement in 2006.

  • Mr. Kenneth L. McCluney ’77

    died on June 29 in Houlton, Maine. He was raised in Florida and graduated from Southwest Miami High. He graduated from MMA with a B.S. in Marine Engineering. He entered the space program and worked as a mechanical engineer in the early design process of the Space Shuttle. Kenneth served as chief engineer for several shipping companies.

    Following his shipping work, he returned to the space program until his retirement. In the early 80s, he was commissioned as an ensign into the United States Naval Reserve, retiring as a commander after more than 20 years of service.

    A man with diverse interests, he loved outdoor life and pursued many creative hobbies. He was a selfless man, always putting the needs of friends and family above his own.

  • Allan Jones ’79

    died on May 27, in Florissant, Colorado. He graduated from MMA in 1979 and was employed as a merchant mariner. Allan’s greatest pleasures in life were to play with his ’toys’, riding his motorcycle during the winter or breaking trail on his ATV. Additionally, he could not pass up a great game of poker, going for long walks, or enjoying a large pizza with extra sauce and cheese.

  • Robert W. Lubbers ’80

    died on July 9. Born in Manhasset, New York, he graduated from Manhasset High School in 1976. Bobby graduated from MMA Class of 1980 and served in the Merchant Marine as a second mate running oil tankers worldwide. In 1983 he came ashore to work for Odin Marine Group LLC in Connecticut as a shipping broker and ship operator for 36 years.

  • David R. Tracy ’80

    died on June 4, 2019. Dave graduated from Waterville High School, class of 1976, where he was an All State football, hockey and baseball athlete including starting linebacker on the 1974 Class A State Championship football team. He continued his education at MMA where he received his B.S. degree in 1980. After a career traveling the world as a chief engineer on several vessel classes, Dave settled in the Skowhegan area to raise his family and work for more than 25 years as a millwright and union representative at the Sappi Skowhegan paper mill. After retiring from Sappi, Dave spent countless hours working in his garden and canning the fruits of his labor; completing crossword puzzles and filling his brain with large amounts of useless information that he was more than happy to share with his friends and family. His sarcastic wit and knowledge will be missed by all.

  • Capt. Lucienne Litchfield ’83

    died unexpectedly in Olympia, Washington on April 3. She served for many years as an officer in the Merchant Marine. She has lived the last 15 years in Olympia after moving from Florida. She leaves behind her husband of 15 years, Zakwan Elshawa and many friends and family in Florida.

  • Patrick N. Dumais ’96

    died on June 11. He was born in Lewiston and graduated from Edward Little High School in 1992 and MMA in 1996. Patrick served as a merchant mariner, and was employed as a building engineer for C.B.R.E. in Lewiston. He loved playing sports, especially baseball. Patrick was an avid New York Yankees fan. He lived for his son, Devin, watching him participate in sports and going to championship motocross races. Patrick also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

  • John L. Ryan ’03

    died March 14. He graduated from Westford Academy in 1991. He continued his education and graduated from MMA in 2003. He was employed in the merchant marine industry for many years, rising to the rank of captain. John’s love of the sea was reflected not only in his work, but in the time he spent at the Cape. He was devoted to his family, and spent many happy times with them.

  • Alexander R. Armstrong ’07

    died on March 4. A lifelong resident of Campton, Alex was an honors graduate of Plymouth Regional High School. He continued his education at MMA, where he earned a B.S. in Marine Engineering. While at Maine Maritime, he served as both a squad leader and platoon leader for Alpha Company. He was also actively involved in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, the Drama Club where he had starring roles, and the student section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, where he served as president. As a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed marine engineer, Alex sailed the Great Lakes and the Seven Seas, circumnavigating the globe. He was employed in various engineering capacities by Tote Services, Inc. Prior to Tote, he had sailed for Maersk Lines, American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers (ARC), Sealift, and the American Steamship Company. Alex made many trips to the Middle East in support of the war effort, and was awarded a Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal for support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He recently completed his credentials for rank of chief engineer.

    Family and friends eagerly awaited his return from sea and tales of his adventures. Alex was a talented figure skater and shared his love of skating with young and old. Alex’s computer savvy was known by many, as he wrote computer programs for use by both the maritime industry and local businesses. A true engineer, he could fix anything, and better yet was eager to teach others and always offered a helping hand. Off duty, he could be found gardening, working on computers and equipment, or tractoring around the neighborhood.

  • Timothy C. Pickering ’07

    died on April 13 in Danvers, Massachusetts. He was active in Marblehead Youth Hockey and played both hockey and lacrosse for Marblehead High School where he graduated in 1994. In high school, he spent summers working at Hawthorne Cove Marina and later as a dockmaster at Pickering Wharf. His love for the sea drove him to attend and graduate from MMA where he obtained his captain’s license. In the summers subsequent to his graduation he was the captain of the Salem Ferry and the Horizon’s Edge casino boat. In the following years, he was a merchant mariner, navigating boats along the U.S. coasts and waterways as a deck officer for companies within the petroleum transportation business.

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/.