McDonald's Employee With Down Syndrome Dies After Giving People Smiles And Fries For 32 Years

McDonald's Employee With Down Syndrome Dies After Giving People Smiles And Fries For 32 Years

Freia David retired from McDonald's in Massachusetts in 2016 and had a huge retirement party that made her a 'minor local celebrity'. She passed away on April 30 at the age of 55.

Freia David has been working at the same McDonald's restaurant all her life. After working for 32 years at this fast-food chain, the employee with Down's Syndrome sadly passed away last week. For decades she has been working at the French fry counter at this Massachusetts-based franchise. David, who was once appreciated for her work by Hillary Clinton during her presidential election in 2016, died at the age of 55 on April 30.


An obituary was published in the Boston Globe which 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."


The piece continued to talk about her growth. "At the age of three, she began going to classes at the Charles River Center, and throughout her life, this outstanding organization 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 was known by most since she started working at the local McDonald's in 1984. Charles River Center, a non-profit organization that helps people with Down's Syndrome and other cognitive disabilities to get a fair opportunity was instrumental in helping Freia getting the job.


Charles River Centre merely persuaded this mega-fast food chain to higher some of their special people on a trial basis. It was David's enthusiastic smile and love for serving french fires that allowed her to stay in her position for 32 years. Boston Globe reports how her mother was initially a bit hesitant about letting her daughter work, but a counselor convinced her saying, " Anneliese, let her go. Then you can see,'” David’s mother, Anneliese David, recalled in 2016. "And he was right. And she loved it."


When David retired in 2016 her grand send-off party resulted in making her a 'minor local celebrity' says her obituary. On August 29, over 100 people attended this Needham-based McDonald's retirement bash. According to HuffingtonPost, her customers, family members, friends, co-workers, and relatives all joined forces to shower her with presents. The restaurant also went to the extent to offer every customer a free order of small fries, who entered the place during the three-hour celebration.


Post her retirement celebration, David told WBZ, "It was nice, I’m really happy. I like all my friends here." Rony Sandoval, the restaurant manager described her as a 'lovely, lovely girl' during her sending off party and said, "When she saw any kids in the lobby, she started making fries and would come out and say, 'Hi sweetie.'" Freia worked there five days a week and dropped in on Saturdays along with her mom to have lunch.  


David was also a stickler for punctuality and sometimes she used to reach her workplace an hour early, and couldn't help herself from dancing in front of the Frymaster waiting for her work to commence.  Thanks to the Charles River Center, and McDonald's, her family is immensely grateful, and "gives heartfelt thanks".


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