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Gene Roy was born in Alfred, New York and first moved to Cleveland in 1947. After moving away for some time she returned to the area in 1970. She taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music. During her tenure with CIM the school moved from Mather Mansion to University Circle. She and her husband were involved in the Cleveland music scene. Her husband worked at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra and was instrumental in starting the Cleveland Art Prize. She lived in Cleveland Heights before moving to Judson, but when she first came to Cleveland she frequented the 105th Street Area.