100-Year-Old McDonald's Employee Celebrates Birthday With Local Community

A beloved McDonald's employee celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday with the support of her local community, and the McDonald's franchise as a whole. Ruthie Schuster, who has worked at a McDonald's and "Big Mac Museum" in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, for 25 years, has no plans to leave the job she loves. And the job certainly loves her back.

A mailbox was installed on the McDonald's property so locals could drop off birthday cards for Schuster. She was given a throne for the occasion, where she sat outdoors to greet patrons who wanted to wish her well on a monumental day. Bobbleheads of Schuster were even created for the celebration.

During an average year, Schuster works the McDonald's dining room and brings joy to visitors with song and dance. She told Newsweek that she and patrons "sing together," an obvious act of joy during a job some may consider routine. "I love my job! I live really close—it only takes me four minutes to get to work and I like that it gives me something to do," she wrote to Newsweek. "Plus, I love the people. All our customers are great. We have fun—we sing together and everything!"

Ruthie Schuster
Ruthie Schuster stands beside her personal mailbox at a Pennsylvania McDonald's, also called the "Big Mac Museum," on her 100th birthday. McDonald's

Some customers were able to stop by to see Schuster sitting on her throne, which had three balloons with "100" on them decorating the wall beside her. Others have been dropping off birthday cards for Schuster in the days leading up to her birthday.

Michael Delligatti, McDonald's owner-operator explained why the mailbox was a fitting choice. "Ruthie has so many fans within our community—including customers who haven't had the chance to see her as often with our dining room currently closed to the public," he wrote to Newsweek.

"We knew we had to do something special so that the whole community could celebrate Ruthie and share their birthday wishes with her, so the mailbox was the perfect solution. We've had so many people wanting to drop off cards and well wishes that we've had to empty it multiple times a day just to keep up."

Ruthie Cards
Ruthie Schuster's birthday cards have been collected long before her actual birthday. McDonald's

It's clear the community loves Schuster, who sings with the clients and was even called a "goodwill ambassador" by a patron who spoke to WTAE. Kindness is all part of her lifestyle. While her decision to continue working at McDonald's into her 100s is impressive, Schuster's routine is one that would never give away her age.

"I'm very active. Before COVID began, I used to dance four days a week, but that has been on hold," she said. "Instead, now I walk a lot. I walk my street, and I work three days a week too. That gets me enough exercise. I also see family."

As for secrets to living a long, fulfilling life? Schuster doesn't have any. " I just live every day like it's a bonus day. I eat what I want too—I eat a lot of chocolate!"

Schuster's love for life, and her McDonald's family, has enriched her Pennsylvania community. "Ruthie is such a special person—to us and to so many others in the community, she's family, really," Delligatti continued. "She's famous for her singing and dancing around the dining room and she brings joy to our restaurant team and all our customers every day that she works. We knew how special she was to us, but seeing all of these messages for her pouring in from all over has been a testament to just how many people she's touched in her 100 years. It's incredible."