Clark was also an avid tennis player and played for a good Lexington High School basketball team growing up.
Politically, Clark first served on the Topsfield Board of Selectmen from 1996 to 2002.
In 2003, he ran a hotly contested state representative race in the 13th Essex District against entrenched Democrat Ted Speliotis.
“I’m sorry for his passing,” Speliotis said. “He was the epitome of class and dignity in government. I will sorely miss our conversations. ... He always wanted to do the right thing.” Speliotis said Clark always focused on the issues during the campaign.
In 2006, Clark, who was then serving as town moderator, won a two-year seat back on the Board of Selectmen. He wanted to see those government reforms through. He helped hire a new town administrator before stepping down from the board after his term expired.
Those who worked with him said he approached town government with a passion because he loved the town and wanted to do all he could to make it a better place to live. One of the major projects while he was a selectman was the closing of the town’s landfill and the creation of Pye Brook Park.
“He certainly will be missed,” said Selectman Dick Gandt. “He left his mark on town government.”
Mattson said her father believed “in doing what’s right and following the rules, and not cutting corners in any way,” a belief that he took with his dealings with town government.
“Steve believed that one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Selectmen is to recruit talented and dedicated individuals to serve on town boards and committees,” Selectman Martha Morrison said. “He helped grow a corps of citizens to participate in town government, and he supported his recruits always as an adviser, mentor and friend. This is one of his lasting legacies to the town of Topsfield.”