Jerry Pelz grew up in Washburn, IL, as small town outside of Peoria. After high school he graduated from Valparaiso University in northern Indiana.
The day after graduation in 1969, he started working for the Northeast Community Fund as a poverty worker in the Prince of Peace Volunteer program. The P.O.P.V. was a religious counterpart to the federal Volunteers in Service to America (V.I.S.T.A.) program. Jerry has worked for Northeast from June of 1969 until the present time and has seen the agency grow by leaps and bounds from its humble inception to the present.
As a product of the 60s, Jerry was planning on doing poverty work for a few years and then moving on with life. That plan didn’t quite come to fruition. He and his wife Carol (nee Brink) have been married for over 40 years and have 4 grown children (Sarah, Katie, Chris and Leah) and 6 grandchildren. His interests include working with plants, sports and history, especially Civil War. He was a high school and college basketball official for over 30 years.
While a resident of Decatur, Jerry has served on various boards and committees with the Mental Health Assn., Cooperative Extension, Senior Center, HSAC, United Way, Decatur Mental Health Center, Macon Co. Health Dept., and was on the founding board of Good Samaritan Inn and the Central IL Foodbank. Jerry is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church.