An adored Massachusetts grocery store employee, who spent the better part of three decades working for Market Basket, retired Tuesday following a big send-off from coworkers.
“Phillip Donahue, who has Down Syndrome,” began working for the Massachusetts-based company when he was just 16, WCVB reported, and through the years, he has assisted countless customers. Donahue started as a grocery bagger “and worked his way up to customer service representative,” according to the outlet.
On Tuesday, Market Basket announced that their cherished employee is retiring.
“Thank you Philip for serving our customers in the Lowell and Tewksbury communities for 27 years! You are a fine example for us all! We wish you a very happy retirement,” a Facebook post from the company said.
Donahue said he will always look back fondly on his interactions with customers, as WBZ noted:
“It was from here to there, 50,000 people lined up. Everybody “Oh Philip! How are ya? What are you doing?” Donahue said when asked if people liked coming to his line to see him.Advertisement
Donahue’s family said one of their proudest moments was when a cashier told them once he had quietly opened his own wallet and paid the difference for a shopper who couldn’t afford their groceries.
Donahue was “a beloved presence,” in his 27 years of work for the company, a spokesperson told WCVB.
He received a big send-off as his coworkers put together a retirement bash, WPRI noted, and now that he has finished his last day of work, he plans to get up to date on his favorite television series.
The retiree will also have time to work on his karate skills — though he is already a brown belt — and enter more Special Olympics competitions as a track runner, according to WCVB.
“Donahue is a Your Next Star representative of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress,” WBZ noted.
This story originally appeared on Resist the Mainstream