Salem — Dr. Stephen James Clarke, Ph.D., 83, of Salem, Mass., died on Saturday, October 26, 2013, in Marblehead, Mass.
Steve was born in Cambridge, Mass., to the late Mary (Gannon) Clarke and Frederick Clarke. Raised in Watertown, Mass., he earned a bachelor's degree in Greek and Latin from Boston College and a doctorate in education from Harvard University. He began his teaching career in West Newbury, Mass., and held positions in the Maynard Public School System, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and Regis College in Weston, Mass. In 1970, he joined the faculty of Salem State College in Salem, and taught there for 27 years.
Steve met his wife, the late Marie Josephine (Dutilly) Clarke, while both were teaching in Maynard. They married in June 1964, moved to Wellesley, Mass., and started a family of five children. In 1970, the family moved to Swampscott, Mass., where Steve would live for the next 25 years.
Steve's great passions were travel, the arts and fine dining. His love of travel began when he spent a year teaching for the U.S. Air Force in Japan in the late 1950s. He kept in touch with the friends he made during his time there and returned to visit them 40 years later. He and Marie fearlessly took their five children on educational car trips to Washington, D.C., Colonial Williamsburg, Montreal and Quebec, Pennsylvania Dutch country, and many other memorable sites. He took great pleasure in visiting his grown children all over the country. After retirement, he traveled widely, including Japan, Ireland, England, Italy, Austria, Spain, and Belgium. He especially loved Venice.
Steve thoroughly enjoyed painting, attending the theater, and listening to an eclectic music collection, which included everything from opera to Gregorian chants to spirituals to Irish folksongs. He loved to visit museums, both locally and around the world, and he read voraciously. He made a point to seek out new fine dining restaurants, and as many people will remember, enjoyed a glass or three of good Chardonnay.
He was a wonderfully involved father to his five children and never missed a soccer game, band concert, or an opportunity to help out when one of his children landed in a jam. He fostered an appreciation for learning, not only in his children, but in their friends and acquaintances, as well. He helped many students get into college, and was always ready to lend his help or just a sympathetic ear.
Steve is survived by his daughter, Dawn-Marie Clarke and her partner, Eric Campbell, his daughter, Stephanie Jean and her husband, James Johnson, and their five children, James and Crystal Johnson, Michael and Nicholas Longfritz, and Thomas Johnson, his son, Kevin A. Clarke and his partner, Heather Edes, his son, Stephen R. Clarke and his wife, Kathy Oh, and his son, Dana F. Clarke and his wife, Elizabeth Clarke, and their children, Larissa, Leandra, Autumn and Collin Clarke.
ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral service will be held in the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, 142 Elm St., Marblehead on Wednesday, November 6, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours will be on Tuesday, from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to the Marie J. and Stephen J. Clarke Memorial Scholarship at North Shore Community College, Ferncroft Rd., Danvers, MA 01923. Please visit the guest book for Steve at www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.