HANOVER, Pa. — McDonald's gift of free food for life for a 100-year-old woman here was a never-used but kind sentiment.

Recipient Nadine Baum of Hanover became ill soon after her October birthday celebration, employee Gen Steinbrenner said. She died March 2.

Baum and her son, Mike, had made a tradition of visiting one particular Hanover McDonald's location on her birthday, and they came often other times of the year. On Oct. 13, the crew surprised Baum with balloons, cupcakes, a decorated and reserved table, and a certificate for a lifetime of free McDonald's food.

"She was like a friend," Steinbrenner said. "She wasn't like a customer."

Photos from Baum's surprise party are framed next to the entrance of the restaurant.

"I don't know what I did to deserve all this," Nadine Baum said at the time. "I count my blessings every day."

Steinbrenner said Baum was a sweet lady.

"We just wanted her to know that we appreciated her," Steinbrenner said.

Survivors include two sons, Kenneth Baum Jr. of Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Michael Baum of Hanover; and four grandchildren, according to her obituary.

Photos: McDonald's throws surprise birthday party for 100 year-old