Gloria J. Muzio

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One of Eureka's colorful personalities lost her battle with lung disease and passed away on Sept. 22 in Eureka Springs. Born Gloria Jean Cassani on Sept. 14, 1929 in Santa Rosa, Calif., she was the only daughter of Fred A. and Pauline G. Cassani.

She was an honor student graduate of Santa Rosa High School and went on to attend Santa Rosa Junior College and Zweegman's Secretarial School where she received her degree as a medical secretary.

She met and married John J. (Jack) Muzio, Jr. in 1950 while attending college. They had two daughters and lived in Marin and Sonoma counties in California where, in later years, they owned and operated a well known antique and collectibles shop in Sonoma called TinTiques. The couple restored and sold antique furniture and collectibles. Gloria's decorating talent soon became the talk of the town when she won several awards for her storefront window displays.

She and her husband Jack moved to Eureka Springs in 1979 where they bought and lovingly restored the old Kearns Cottage at 276 Spring St. It was featured as one of the tour homes on the first Victorian Homes Tour in the early 1980s.

The couple also owned and operated, with the help of family and friends, the well known Basin Block Cafe which served locals and tourists for more than 20 years. Many of the recipes were Gloria's own and it soon became a popular spot for locals and tourists to gather. In the late 1980s Gloria also owned and operated a shop in Eureka called Behind the Screen Door where she sold antiques and many of her own designs of Victorian decor.

She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Gloria is survived by her ex-husband Jack Muzio; daughter Debbie Weiland and husband Mike; daughter Darcy Huffman; granddaughter Summer Huffman; great-granddaughters Ava White and Trinity Huffman Strecker, all of Eureka Springs; cousins Audrey Minney and Diane Howard, of California; and many, many friends. She was preceeded in death by grandson Boone Huffman.

A memorial service in celebration of Gloria's life is planned for the near future. Memorial donations may be sent to Eureka Christian Health Outreach (ECHO) in memory of Gloria Muzio.