Adored McDonald’s Chef With Down’s Syndrome Has Passed Away

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Woman with down syndrome diesWBZ-TV

A McDonald’s chef with Down’s syndrome who worked at the same restaurant for more than three decades has passed away.

Freia David, 55, was dedicated to her job and worked in the same Needham McDonald’s for 32 years; she was loved by her co-workers and any customer that came into the restaurant.


An obituary published on Sunday (May 5) states Freia died on April 30, nearly three years after she retired from her job.

mcdonald's logo storeGetty

As reported by CBS Boston, Freia was known for her friendly attitude and chatty demeanor at the Chestnut Street fast food restaurant.

An obituary in The Boston Globe expressed how loved Freia was, emphasising how her Down’s syndrome never slowed her down.


The obituary 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. Her retirement party was so well publicized that she became a minor celebrity.

Woman with down syndrome diesWBZ-TV

Freia retired in 2016 and her restaurant threw her a huge party to celebrate her remarkable career, inviting everyone in the local community to attend.


Bob Broughton, director of operations for the restaurant, and restaurant owner Timothy McCoy said at the time:

Through her time working with us, one thing we all learned was that Freia had more to offer us than we had to offer her. Her smile, her enthusiasm, and her daily hugs made our restaurant more than just a restaurant.

She is loved and respected by all of our employees, customers and anyone she has come into contact with. We are sad that she is retiring, but very happy for the opportunity we’ve had working with her.

As per Patch, Freia started working for McDonald’s in 1984 through the Charles River Center’s job placement programme for developmentally disabled people.


The 55-year-old lived at a Charles River Center supported home in Needham at the time of her death; Freia was one of the first people to benefit from the centre’s services.

A memorial service is being held for Freia on June 18 at George F. Doherty & Son’s Funeral Home in Needham at 11:30am. Family, friends, and the local community are invited.

Rest in peace, Freia.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.


If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Health, Downs Syndrome, McDonalds, News, US News


CBS Boston and 2 others
  1. CBS Boston

    Celebrated McDonald’s Fry Cook With Down Syndrome Dies

  2. The Boston Globe


  3. Patch

    Cherished Needham Special Olympian, McDonald's Cook Dies

Lucy Connolly
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