NEEDHAM (CBS) – A woman with Down syndrome who has worked at the same McDonald’s for over three decades is retiring.

Freia David has spent 32 years working at the french fry station at the McDonald’s on Chestnut Street in Needham.

UPDATE: McDonald’s Throws Retirement Party For Longtime Worker With Down Syndrome

She lives in a Charles River Center-supported home in Needham. The center is a Needham nonprofit that provides employment, job training and housing for nearly 1,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities.

McDonald’s was one of the center’s first local business partners.

The center shared a photo of David at her job in the 1980s.

David in the 1980s (Image credit Charles River Center)

David in the 1980s (Image credit Charles River Center)

And another picture from last year with childhood friend Christopher Sheehan, who would visit David at McDonald’s every week.

David and Christopher Sheehan (Image credit Charles River Center)

Freia David and Christopher Sheehan (Image credit Charles River Center)


A retirement party for David will be held Monday morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the McDonald’s.

Comments (45)
  1. SM says:

    For a change this news is actually uplifting. Good luck to Freia!

  2. Kate says:

    Good luck to Freia, who has more dedication and perseverance than a lot of people who get face time on the news. Be happy and healthy.

  3. Michael says:

    That is so awesome to have worked at the same place for that many years. So happy for her and hope she has fun at her retirement party!! Have a nice quiet, restful retirement, I’m sure she will visit McD’s many more times but as a customer.

  4. Jennifer Jacob says:

    Awww, what a aspiring story! 32 years is a long time to dedicate yourself to your job! Be so proud of yourself and enjoy your retirement in good health and joy! I don’t know you but if I could I would give you hugs and tells you I’m proud of you! Blessings!

  5. Enjoy your retirement and I know you will get busy with a hobby soon!

  6. Cuanas mcauley says:

    What a great story to read, I dont no you but I wish you the very best and hope you enjoy your retirement . 32 yrs is a long time I hope you get to eat there free when you visit .

  7. ED BERTARELLI says:

    I hope that Corporate McDonald’s does something to recognize this individual. Such an inspiring story. Show me anyone these days that has been with a company for 32 years. Way to go Freia. I only wish I lived there and could attend your Retirement Party. Best of luck and well wishes from Alabama!

  8. David Morse says:

    Wish this came with a live story video. This is great!

  9. Myra Belle Miller says:

    Thanks to McDonald’s for supporting those with disabilities! As a special education teacher….I know without a doubt that no one tries harder or works with more enthusiasm and dedication than those who are labeled “special needs.” If I ruled the world….no one would be “labeled” but instead…..treated like all of us wish to be treated: with kindness and respect.

  10. I was an asst manager at Needham McDonald’s around 88-90 (I was the manager that hired Morris Miller, the 100yr old who also worked there… Morris was 75 when I hired him! ;) ) and I worked with Freia. She was AWESOME. Everyone walked on eggshells with her because of her disability. One of my co-managers and I treated her like a regular person and she totally came out of her shell and rose to the occasion. She was a GREAT employee! Good luck in retirement Freia! Oh and Matthew finally says “Hello.”

  11. Unfortunately McDonalds does not provide a pension for her so she will be completely dependent on Charity and Social Security, another shameful example of corporate welfare and not looking after your people.

  12. I hear this great news on the radio and just had to check this wonderful lady out. She is just beautiful and you guys at McDonald were lucky to have her.
    Congratulation Freia Davis.

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