Eight Bells

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

  • Richard M. Burston ’43-2

    died on July 17, 2018. Burston graduated from Boston High School with the goal of attending prep school. He lived for sports, excelling in football, ice hockey and baseball and wanted an opportunity to play some more. When his dad gave him a flat out “no”, Burston decided to go for it anyway. In 1941, Burston was granted a sports scholarship to Kents Hill Prep School. He graduated from Kents Hill at age 17, and as the U.S. was on the brink of entering into WWII, Burston enrolled in MMA earning the title of Naval Reserve Officer and serving in the South Pacific aboard the USS Alhena during the war, for which he will be honored at Arlington. After the war, Burston attended Bowdoin College and graduated after only two and a half years. He was then accepted at Harvard Business School but was diagnosed with polio during his first semester and although the doctors told him he’d never walk again, Burston made up his mind to walk, spending countless hours training his muscles. Undefeated, Burston returned to Harvard and graduated with the class of ‘52. His recovery from polio is a metaphor for his whole life. He approached all challenges with a winning mindset, never accepting the word “can’t.” He had a way of making people feel good about themselves with his humble manner, quiet intellect and engaging spirit. He believed strongly in giving back as a civic volunteer, including several years as Little League president and as a trustee for two of his alma maters.

  • Capt. Cecil M.S. Benson Jr. ’46

    died August 11, 2018. In 1944, Benson graduated from Kennebunkport High School and in 1946 was part of the fifth class to graduate from MMA, earning his third mate’s license in the Merchant Marine and a commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After sailing ships with American Export Lines and United Fruit Company, he was called to active duty in 1954 and served as navigator and operations officer on Sixth Fleet oilers operating in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea, rising to the rank of full lieutenant. In 1958, after his service with the Navy, Benson returned to the sea, making the shipping industry his career for the next 25 years. He rose in rank from third mate to master, with extensive experience on break bulk cargo vessels, fishing/factory/freezer ships, tankers, container ships, gas turbine powered carriers, and nuclear-propelled ships. In 1984, Benson retired to his home in Cape Porpoise, dedicating his time to projects that combined his love of history, the sea, and his community. Benson’s volunteer efforts led to improvements to the Atlantic Hall and the Arundel Cemetery, and the Benson Blacksmith Shop for the Kennebunkport Historical Society. He was active in the MMA Alumni Association, Boston and Portland Marine Societies, Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, Arundel Lodge #76, Arundel Yacht Club, and Old Goats Club. Benson was especially pleased when the Trust restored the Clement Clark Boathouse, where he had spent so much time as a boy. Throughout retirement, he was an avid sailor, competing in the Boon Island Race well into his 80s.

  • John R. Spear ’54

    died August 10, 2018. He graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1950, received a bachelor’s degree from MMA, and a Master of Education from The Citadel. After graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served 23 years on active duty, 21 of which were in the Submarine Service. He served on the USS Medregal (SS 480), USS Wahoo (SS 565), USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633), USS Clamagore (SS 343) as Executive Officer, and the USS Thornback (SS 480) as Commanding Officer. He also served on the Staff of Submarine Officers School New London, Connecticut, Staff of Commander Submarine Forces Pacific Pearl Harbor, and Staff of Commander Submarine Flotilla Six in Charleston. He retired from the military in 1977 as executive officer of the Polaris Missile Facility Atlantic. While in the service, Cdr. Spear was awarded many commendations including the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Medal with Gold Star and Navy Unit Commendation. After retirement from the Navy he was employed as a field engineer by General Electric Company. Cdr. Spear was active in many societies such as the Major General William Moultrie Chapter Sons of the America Revolution, South Carolina Society War of 1812, Dames and Barons of the Magna Charta, Washington Light Infantry, Palmetto Guards, and Charleston Chapter South Carolina Genealogy Society. He held a distinguished Southern Citizen Award by the South Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans for his work in Magnolia Cemetery Soldiers Burial Ground and the Hunley Crew burials.

  • Hugh E. Ellis, Jr. ’57

    died in South Carolina on July 19, 2018, surrounded by loving family. He graduated from Bangor High School in 1954, MMA in 1957, and the University of Maine at Orono in 1963. He worked for Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company for over 20 years. He enjoyed fishing, snowmobiling, dining out, working on his beloved camp at Little Rocky Pond, Ellsworth, and gathering with friends and family.

  • Paul P. Bordé ’59

    died on October 15, 2018. After completing a four-year engineering degree at MMA, where he played a number of sports and joined the Merchant Marine, working on a number of ships. A short time later he answered the call and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, spending the next 23 years aboard several ships, seeing action in Vietnam aboard USS Preston and as Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy, Mexico City, ending his excellent career as executive officer, Naval Support Activity, Los Angeles – Long Beach. After retirement, he joined Crowley Maritime Corporation as marketing manager west coast operations until his retirement in 2015. Bordé lived life to the max never asking for more than he gave. As his young nephew who is in the Navy said, “Lord, you are receiving one hell of an angel.”

  • Bernard A. Bartlett ’65

    died peacefully at his home in Nantucket on October 17, 2018. Bartlett graduated from Peacham Academy and received a Bachelor’s degree from Maine Maritime Academy. After serving as a merchant mariner, he returned to Nantucket to manage and operate Bartlett Plumbing and Heating alongside his father. After many years in the plumbing business,he became the building inspector for the Town of Nantucket.

    Bartlett had a love for this special place, spending time on the ocean and tinkering in his garage. He also greatly enjoyed building and renovating with his family and friends, no matter how big or small the job.

  • Stephen L. Harriman ’67

    died November 12, 2018. He attended Crosby High School in Belfast, and graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering. His career was varied but culminated in 30 years working for the Maine State Ferry Service on the Swan’s Island ferry, where he met the love of his life, Helen Wheaton; they married in 1971. Harriman served the town of Swan’s Island in many capacities, including chief of the fire department, founder and director of the ambulance service, code enforcement officer, and plumbing inspector. Retirement in 2000 didn’t slow him down. He worked several part-time jobs, including harvesting blueberries and delivering home heating oil. He was a member of Eastbrook Baptist Church, where he served as trustee. His love for camper travel, the outdoors, and helping people were well known in the area, where he leaves behind the memory of a booming voice, fun loving personality and the many people helped along the way. He is survived by his beloved wife, Helen, of 47 years.

  • Paul R. Day ’70

    died on August 23, 2018. Day graduated from Deering High School in 1966, and after MMA was in the Merchant Marine at American Officers Association until retiring in 2014. Day lived an adventurous life, living in Portland, Duluth, Minnesota., Kingfield, Honolulu, Hawaii and The Netherlands before retiring to Gray. “Little Ricky Day” made friends wherever he went. He loved to be surrounded in a crowd where he most always was the center. Day loved engineering, auto repair, wood carving and gardening. He will be sadly missed by his immediate and extended family.

  • Paul E. Haney ’70

    died March 25, 2017 in Tavares, Florida. He graduated from MMA with a degree in Nautical Science and his Third Mate’s Unlimited License. Haney began his long career in the Merchant Marine with Exxon. However, when his children were very young he chose to stay ashore, and he worked for Volkswagen of America for eight years. In 1981 he returned to the maritime industry with Hvide Marine, Inc., which later became Seabulk Tankers. When Haney retired in 2011 he had been working for several years through the American Maritime Officers union. At the news of Haney’s death, J. Erik Hvide commented that Haney was a professional mariner, one of many who helped create the success of Seabulk Tankers. Haney always said his favorite ships were the Magnachem and the America; he referred to the ‘Seabulkers’ as his work family. At his memorial service his co-workers remembered Haney as a dedicated and ethical mariner. He held his Chief Mate’s license, but liked sailing Second Mate best. An avid hunter, Haney enjoyed being in the woods just as much as he loved sailing on his sailboat. Haney was a native of Bangor, Maine, and though he had lived in Florida for 32 years, he never lost his dry Maine humor, nor his Downeast accent!

  • John F. Federico ’72

    died in Crossville, Tennessee on October 3, 2018. Federico graduated from South Portland High School in 1968. He was first captivated by the sea taking daily excursions on the Casco Bay Lines ferry. Federico became a navigator on offshore vessels serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine as an officer for more than 30 years. He set foot on every continent. Federico was also chief medical officer, helping to save the life of a fellow seaman while far off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope. In the 1970s, Federico was Audubon Society’s boatman on Hog Island assisting biologists with introducing Puffins to Eastern Egg Rock, on Muscongus Bay, in the Gulf of Maine.

  • Thomas G. Queen ’80

    died November 6, 2018 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. For the past 11 years, Green lived and worked in Danielsville, Pennsylvania. Prior to that, he lived in Casco, Maine on Thomas Pond with his wife of 33 years, Robyn, and sons, Ryan and Kerry. He was a 1976 graduate of Cheverus High School. After graduation from MMA, he spent many years as a merchant mariner. He was a member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Berlinsville, Pennsylvania. Green loved the outdoors, spending time fishing, boating and snowmobiling. He also had a passion for NASCAR racing. Most recently, he spent summers with his wife, son, and grandsons enjoying swimming, camping, fishing and other activities Maine has to offer.

  • Dennis J. Ring ’81

    died on August 19, 2018. Ring was a retired lieutenant with the Edgewater Police Department, serving the department for 29 years. After graduation from MMA, he joined the Military Sealift Command as second officer where he was able to see the world.

  • Kelsey E. Nalette ’16

    died on August 5, 2018 due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Nalette grew up in a household of love and laughter. She had a zest for life and put herself wholeheartedly into everything she did. As an avid softball player in high school and college, a 2012 Trinity High School graduate and a MMA IBL graduate, Nalette pursued her dreams with insurmountable support from her family. Nalette was fiercely independent from a young age and moved to Florida to complete the Disney College Internship Program where she earned her ears and succeeded in every aspect. Nalette was admired by her colleagues and coworkers for her incredible work ethic and determination. She was employed as a maritime logistics coordinator for Signet Maritime Corporation where she made fast friends who quickly turned to family as she built a life in Jacksonville. She loved spending weekends with family and friends at Disney, on the boat, at the beach, or at concerts. She loved the Red Sox and Patriots and her family and friends were her true passions in life. She held strong, unique relationships with each and every one of her loved ones.

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/.