Woman With Down Syndrome Who Worked At McDonald's For 32 Years Dies

A woman with Down Syndrome who worked at the same McDonald's restaurant for 32 years has died.

Freia David worked at the french fry station of a Massachusetts franchise for more than three decades but sadly died last week.

Her obituary was published by the Boston Globe.

It read: "Freia was born to a loving family, having Down Syndrome, but this never slowed her down. She graduated from Needham High School, participated in Special Olympics, had many friends, and enjoyed music, movies, and Mickey Mouse.

"For 32 years she worked at McDonald's of Needham where she served up spectacular French fries, teased her co-workers, and greeted everyone with a smile."

Freia David worked at McDonald's for 32 years before retiring in 2016. Credit: Charles River Center
Freia David worked at McDonald's for 32 years before retiring in 2016. Credit: Charles River Center

It added: "At the age of three, she began going to classes at the Charles River Center, and throughout her life this outstanding organisation helped her to grow. For the last fifteen years she was helped, supported, and allowed to blossom as a resident of a group home."

Freia retired from her position at McDonald's in 2016 and was given a huge send-off by her colleagues, becoming a 'minor local celebrity', according to her obituary.

Among the gifts she received were a silver necklace with a fry-carton pendant and a proclamation from the state House of Representatives.

Speaking to WBZ-TV. at the time she said: "It was nice, I'm really happy. I like all my friends here."

Freia began working at the Needham McDonald's in 1984 through a scheme that placed adults with cognitive disabilities in work.

She sadly passed away last month. Credit: WBZ
She sadly passed away last month. Credit: WBZ

Co-workers described how every time she came in for a shift, Freia would greet her fellow employees with a hug.

"When she saw any kids in the lobby, she started making fries and would come out and say, 'Hi sweetie,'" said Rony Sandoval, the restaurant's manager, also describing her as a 'lovely, lovely girl' upon her retirement.

Freia lived a Charles River Center-supported home in Needham, which cares for adults with developmental disabilities.

According to local reports, she was one of the very first people to benefit from its services.

Freia's family thanked everyone who had supported her throughout her life and invited them to attend the funeral next month.

In the obituary, they said: "To all the members of both these organisations our family gives heartfelt thanks! We invite family, friends, and community to celebrate Freia's extraordinary life at a Memorial Service in the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home, 1305 Highland Ave., NEEDHAM, on Tuesday, June 18, at 11.30am."

Rest in peace, Freia.

Featured Image Credit: WBZ

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

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