GRAFTON, Mass. — Even at her retirement party, Maureen Clark asked her guests to bring food donations for the Grafton Food Bank, a longtime personal endeavor she cares for as much as her 32-year uncontested elected seat as the town clerk.
Guests who hold seats in local government braved the cold Friday to honor her at the Community Barn, a rustic meeting room on a spot of rolling farmland that serves up its bounty of crops to the Worcester County Food Bank.
"Thank you for coming out," said Clark, who in her many years in the Municipal Center has rarely sought the limelight. "Over the years I've had the good fortune to meet wonderful people, the people who make up the community."
The party was attended by selectmen, school committee members, residents who have lived in town for 80 years, police officers, firemen and two members from Beacon Hill — one Republican from the House of Representatives and one Democrat from the state Senate who found common ground for one night.
Proclamations were made, plaques were awarded and gifts were presented. But Clark's speech was, perhaps,characteristically brief for someone who was dedicated to her career for an extraordinarily long time.