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Beloved McDonald’s longtime employee with Down’s syndrome passes away, leaving community in tears

For some, working at McDonald’s may not be a big deal, but for Freia, it was everything. Due to her Down syndrome, some individuals expressed doubts about Freia’s capacity to work and support herself.

In 1984, Freia, then 20 years old, was offered a job at a McDonald’s in Needham. She ran the french fry station at the Needham McDonald’s for the next 32 years and was beloved by the community.

Image credit: ©CBS News

Freia was born and raised in Needham, Massachusetts, and she came to the Charles River Center assisted living facility as an adult.

Since she was three years old, she had been taking classes at the center, and she had grown up as a group member of the center.

Additionally, her obituary stated that she competed in the Special Olympics. The center assisted her in having confidence in herself and contacting McDonald’s.

Image credit: ©CBS News

They anticipated Freia’s success, but had no clue she would become the city’s most popular customer care representative for nearly 30 years.

Freia served clients at McDonald’s for four hours per day, five days per week.

Anne-Marie Bajwa, who worked at the Charles River Center, reported that Freia was one of the first community members to be placed in a job.

Image credit: ©CBS News

Freia believed, however, that it was time to move on at age 52. During her farewell ceremony, the community’s commitment to Freia was nothing short of astonishing. Freia certainly deserved nothing less!

Freia assured the reporters that her retirement will give her the opportunity to rest and take care of herself.

Family, friends, employees, clients, and even members of the local media attended to laud her life’s accomplishments.

She was presented with a certificate commending and acknowledging her achievements. One of the Needham McDonald’s franchise owners, Timothy McCoy, spoke.

Image credit: ©CBS News

In his speech, he mentioned that Freia’s grin, her enthusiasm, and her daily embraces elevated the business above that of a restaurant.

Anyone who commits 32 years of their life to a single endeavor deserves recognition. Especially if they offer their absolute best every day.

Freia is a wonderful illustration of this!

However, this lovely soul, Freia, passed away in 2019. The cause of death has not been made public.

Image credit: ©CBS News

According to her Legacy obituary, Freia’s memorial service was held at the George F. Doherty & Son’s Funeral Home in Needham, to which her friends, family, and community members were invited.

Freia was born to a loving family with Down syndrome, yet this never slowed her down. According to her obituary, she graduated from Needham High School, participated in Special Olympics, had many friends, and enjoyed music, movies, and Mickey Mouse.

Please share the moving tale of Freia with your family and friends!

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