Eight Bells

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

  • Richard A. Foley ’49

    passed away July 5, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Born Dec. 14, 1927, Foley grew up in Philadelphia. After the death of his father in 1943, Foley relocated with his family to Bath, Maine, and attended Morse High School. His senior class yearbook credited him as a “good natured fellow who has proven his leadership by becoming the president of his class,” along with “most likely to succeed.” Foley graduated from MMA, Bowdoin College, and Boston College Law School. He served his country in the JAG Corps in the U.S. Navy and was profoundly shaped by that experience. Foley passed the bar in 1955, served as the State Assistant Attorney General in Maine in the 1960s, and partnered with Augusta attorney Ralph Farris in the 1970s. He never retired; he went into the office every week until shortly before his death. Foley loved working and serving his community in Maine. He loved life. Foley was socially and intellectually active until his passing. He loved golf, playing cribbage, seeing friends at the Augusta Country Club and Glades Country Club in Naples, Fla., spending time with his family, watching old movies, being by the ocean, and sharing stories from his 95-1/2 years. He lived the adage “don’t sweat the small stuff,” and was rarely frazzled by the inconveniences and hardships of life. Foley’s passing leaves a void that cannot be filled, but those closest to him find comfort in the loving memories of laughter, meals shared, and advice sagely given.

  • Harold Hugo ’50

    passed away on April 1, 2023, at the age of 94. He was born in Portland, Maine, on September 5, 1928. He was a 1945 graduate of Portland High School, a 1950 graduate of MMA, and a 1957 graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in mechanical engineering. He proudly served as an engineer, Lieutenant JG, in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1954. Hugo’s career spanned thirty-plus years and included everything from developing rocket nozzles in the 60s to designing and installing HVAC systems for complex buildings such as apartment complexes, grocery stores, and hospitals in his later years. He also spent several years teaching engineering classes in HVAC at Northeastern University. He was a member of the Masons for over 50 years and spent time as a Lion in Sebago. In 2018, he was awarded an Honor Flight by Honor Flight Maine where he built special memories with his guardian son. In his free time, he loved fishing and building model airplanes and boats. He and his wife enjoyed traveling together to many places all over the world. Most of all, Hugo loved spending time with his family, especially on his beloved Sebago Lake, where he lived for many years. His one-of-a-kind sense of humor and passion for life, friends, and family will be greatly missed by all.

  • Bruce D. Michelsen ’54

    died peacefully at home in Chapel Hill, N.C., on June 2, 2023. Born July 12, 1933, in Stamford, Conn., he graduated from Stamford High School in 1951 where he played basketball and baseball. He sang in the school choir, and danced with a group of young ballroom dancers who twice performed on the Ed Sullivan show. In 1954 he graduated from MMA where he played football, basketball, and baseball and earned the rank of ensign in the Navy in which he then served for two years. In 1960 Michelsen graduated from the University of Virginia where he played varsity basketball and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. While at the University of Virginia, he met and married Tracy Walden. They ended up in Durham, N.C., where they raised their family and Michelsen bought the Alarms and Protective Systems company which he ran for 45 years.

  • William R. Fleming ’56

    passed on July 27, 2023, after complications from a fall. He graduated from Bangor High School and continued his education at Maine Maritime Academy before enlisting in the Navy as an officer stationed in Hawaii. He taught history at Bangor High where he was an inspiration to many students and encouraged some to attend Maine Maritime. He later taught for a year at Texas Maritime Academy. But the sea life kept calling him back, so he continued his career as a first mate in the Merchant Marines retiring as Captain. Fleming always had interesting stories of his trips all over the world and enjoyed sharing them with his family.

  • Roger L. Poulin ’57

    passed away June 23, 2023. He was born January 26, 1932, in Winslow, Maine, son of the late Joseph and Marie Poulin. Poulin was a member of Precious Blood of Christ, in Pawleys Island, S.C., and the Elks Club. He proudly served in the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard. Poulin retired from International Paper Co. after more than 30 years of dedicated work.

  • Joseph Kostiuk, Jr. ’60

    passed away on June 28, 2023. Kostiuk graduated from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass., MMA, and later went on to get his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Kostiuk worked for Isbrandtsen Shipping Lines aboard the Flying Spray and American Enka, and for United Technologies. He also worked at Electric Boat as a cost engineer and then a nuclear engineer, spending much time at sea trials testing submarines before they were turned over to the U.S. Navy. In 1985, he found a position at Millitech as a cost engineer. After retirement, he continued working as the Deerfield Fire District Water Superintendent for several years while also running his own car business called Country Roads, focusing on Corvettes but dealing in all makes of cars for his customers. Kostiuk served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and as a selectman. He also volunteered as a Little League coach. During his retirement, he traveled extensively to China, Russia, Egypt, Europe, and the Middle East. As a member of the National Corvette Restorers Society, Kostiuk traveled across and around the U.S. on road tours. Through these travels he made many lasting friends from the U.S. and Canada. All had the same interest: Corvettes.

  • Paul D. Rooney ’61

    died in Florida on June 29, 2023. He sailed on tankers, break-bulk cargo, and containerships throughout his long career. Prior to attending MMA, he served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard; three and a half years aboard the CG cutter Acushnet out of Portland, Maine. On the Acushnet, he was involved in numerous rescue attempts including the passenger liner Andrea Doria, and in the spring of 1957 made the International Ice Patrol based in Newfoundland and the Grand Banks. Upon graduating from MMA, he started his career sailing on tankers for American Trading & Production Company. He then started sailing on dry cargo ships with Master, Mates and Pilots. For the next five years he sailed “off the board” through the New York union hall on numerous ships to all parts of the globe with various companies. He sailed with Farrell Lines for seventeen years as a second mate, chief mate, and Master. Rooney also worked for U.S. Lines and Sea Land.

  • Frank M. Hale ’62

    passed away July 25, 2023. Hale graduated from Salem High School in 1958, graduated as an Ensign from MMA in 1962, and served in the U.S. Navy Reserves from 1963 to 1967. Hale’s ease with people and conversation led him on a varied career path: he sailed for Grace Lines, he owned and managed a Pittsburgh Paint store, sold insulation at Homans Associates, crewed escort tugs for the Portland Pilots, and managed a fleet of fuel delivery trucks at Bickford Transportation. Hale was a longtime member of Portland Yacht Club. He loved the camaraderie of the monthly dinner meetings of the Portland Marine Society. Hale made many trips to help collect the railcars that would form the basis for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and assisted with the establishment of the Bickford Collection. Hale was a tireless volunteer for the MMA Alumni Association and received their Outstanding Alumnus award in 1987. He spent many hours at the tag sale at the Portland Boat Show raising money for scholarships and was on the committee that established the Alumni House at the Castine campus. He was integral in establishing the Council of Maritime Schools, a coalition of the seven naval academies in the U.S. He was thrilled to attend his 60th reunion in 2022 and reconnect with his classmates. Hale proudly owned and restored a 1962 Mack B68 Series truck, and a 1939 Ford Tudor sedan.

  • John R. Hilton ’62

    passed away on June 17, 2023, at home surrounded by his loving family. Born in Damariscotta, Maine, Hilton grew up in Newcastle. He graduated from Wiscasset High School before attending MMA where he received his degree in marine engineering. He traveled the world’s oceans as a ship’s engineer, working for Exxon and on the passenger liner S.S. Constitution on its run between New York City and Italy. He retired from shipping after his first two children arrived. He then operated Cheney Insurance, worked as a realtor, and served on many boards. Hilton was a devoted member of the Lions Club International and served in several leadership roles. Hilton was devoted to his family and reveled in the presence of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of his best times later in life were spent on the water with his son along the Maine coast and beyond, and they also enjoyed several RV trips when he became semi-famous in social media posts as “Pointy John.” He was an avid pilot who flew family and friends around New England and on several trips to Florida. He enjoyed sharing stories from his shipping days with family and friends and was happy to attend his 60th MMA class reunion last year.

  • George H. Duncan ’67

    passed away on July 1, 2023. He graduated from MMA and obtained a master’s degree from Suny Maritime College at Fort Schuyler. He sailed as a Mate on U.S. flagships until entering the private sector, working as a broker of dry bulk cargo until his retirement. Duncan was an avid reader of history, loved the beach, boating, and surfcasting. He was happiest when spending time with his wife surrounded by his family. He was loved, his smile and sense of humor will be missed by everyone who came to know him.

  • Harry R. Fullerton ’71

    died September 22, 2023, surrounded by family. He was a proud graduate of MMA with a degree in marine engineering. In recent years, he loved catching up with alumni friends who shared similar memorable experiences with him. Fullerton was a devoted member of the community, coaching youth sports in Deering Center, serving as director of the Portland Babe Ruth League, and a member of both the Deering High School Booster Club and the DHS football chains group. He enjoyed Coffee Club with his close friends at Pompeo’s and was a long-time member of the Riverside Golf Course. He deeply enjoyed his annual Cape trips with the Construction League and golf league on Thursday nights. Fullerton worked in various positions until finding his career at Bracket Machine. He worked there for thirty years and thought of the whole crew as family. His uncanny “gift of gab” made amazing connections with so many who he loved and cherished.

  • Capt. Larry C. Wonson ’74

    passed away on May 4, 2023, after a lengthy illness. He grew up in Rockport, graduating from MMA with a BS degree and a Third Mates License. He worked for Exxon Shipping Company for 16 years serving as the Captain on the Exxon Wilmington. He was also licensed as a first-class pilot for the Port of New York. In 1990 he came ashore, switched careers, and obtained a Massachusetts Wastewater Operator License. He then went to work for the Town of Rockport, retiring in 2017. Wonson loved the town of Rockport and spent many happy years on the water.

  • Stephen W. Perham ’79

    passed on March 5, 2023. Perham graduated from York High School in 1973, and from MMA with a BS in engineering. He worked most of his life as a nuclear engineer for the United States government. He retired in 2005 and he and his wife started Shepherd’s Gate Farm, rescuing and rehoming agricultural animals to non-working lives. His wife continues the mission of the farm.

  • Charles P. Simpson III ’79

    died September 4th, 2022. Simpson’s heart of gold and genuine character was present in all that he did. He was a devoted husband, a present father, and an involved grandfather. Simpson was undoubtedly committed to his career, to his faith, and to his creative endeavors. Without hesitation, Simpson brought this world light and love with the ease of his very being. Ultimately, love was present in all of his interactions.

  • Robert “Eli” Whitney ’80

    died January 26, 2023. He was born in New Rochelle, N.Y., on May 14, 1957. He graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School in 1975 and from MMA 1980 with a BS in Marine Engineering and a third assistant engineer’s license. He went to sea making trips to South America, then settled down in the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. After 2 years working in Mexico, he came ashore and worked as a technical representative for EG&G Sealol installing the stern tube seal on the Navy’s submarine fleet. He then found a career in hydraulics from 1986 until retirement in 2023.

  • Steven M. Wilson ’81

    passed away suddenly surrounded by his loving family on July 30, 2023. Wilson was a graduate of Sharon High School and MMA, earning a BS in marine engineering. He later managed Charles B. Wilson Associates. He was very active in his community coaching sports, leading Girl Scouts, helping build the Ames Street playground, and serving as an EMT and volunteer firefighter.

  • Tylar C. Michaud

    drowned while lobstering July 21, 2023, just a month after his graduation from Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus. Michaud lit up a room when he entered and was never shy to engage, pull a prank, crack a joke, or tease those he cared most for. He was a skilled outdoorsman and excellent hunter. Michaud took to lobster fishing and spent as much time as he could on the water. He was never satisfied with what he knew and could be found in the fishing community grilling other lobstermen for tips to improve. Michaud was wicked smart with an amazing sense of humor. He was curious, loved learning, and made education entertaining for all involved. Michaud was also an athlete who enjoyed both soccer and baseball and he spent the winters learning the craft of boat building. All extracurricular time was spent working, talking about work, or making more work for himself to avoid real work. He was thrilled with his plans to attend MMA in the fall to study marine engineering.

  • John S. Rosa ’85

    passed away peacefully at his home on May 10, 2023, after a lengthy illness. A 1981 graduate of Portsmouth High School, and of MMA, where he dominated on the football field and was beloved by his teammates and his classmates. After graduating from MMA, he served as a ship captain until his retirement, but continued his life-long pleasure in fishing. He was an avid gardener, enjoyed raising many types of animals, and enjoyed traveling to many parts of the world.

  • Eli J. Olson ’19

    died April 29th, 2023, in a tragic hiking accident on El Capitan in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Olson was a graduate of Foxcroft Academy where he was a captain on the wrestling, baseball, and soccer teams, then carried his love of soccer to MMA. In addition to playing soccer, he was involved in leadership positions in the Regiment and aboard the T/S State of Maine. He graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Marine Transportation and was commissioned as a naval officer in the Strategic Sealift Program. After graduation, he worked as a deck officer on oil tankers for Crowley Maritime and served as a LTJG in the U.S. Navy Reserves. He loved anything outdoors and adventurous. His physical ability and mental toughness made it hard for anyone to keep up, but he was always patient and encouraged others to join him on his adventures. Olson made the most of every day.

  • Peyton Brewer-Ross ’22

    passed away on Oct. 25, 2023, in Lewiston, Maine. Brewer-Ross graduated from Westbrook High School in 2001 where he was a member of the wrestling team. For the last five years, he was a valued member of the BIW family where he worked as a pipefitter. Brewer-Ross enrolled in their apprenticeship program, graduating with an associate degree from MMA. He was also a valued member of the Local S6 Education Committee. You couldn’t meet Brewer-Ross and not be his friend. He had a wonderful smile and he loved to make other people laugh. If you needed help, Brewer-Ross would drop everything to help you out. He enjoyed life to the fullest.

Most Eight Bells entries are obtained from online news sources and edited for length. A complete listing of Eight Bells can be found at https://mainemaritime.edu/alumni/category/eight-bells/.

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.