Jerry Relph was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where his father was stationed in the United States Army. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to New Jersey before eventually settling in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That’s where Jerry graduated from high school in 1962. Later that year, Jerry moved to Minnesota to attend Carleton College in Northfield, where he played hockey and studied philosophy. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1966.
Shortly after graduation, Jerry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served his country in Vietnam as a Marine Corps officer. In addition to his regular duties as an officer, Jerry received specialized training in nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare. Jerry’s service in the Marine Corps had a profound impact on his life, teaching him the value of leadership, discipline, and personal responsibility.
After his military service, Jerry moved back to Minnesota. He attended William Mitchell College of Law, where he served as an Editor of the school’s first Law Review, while working full-time for 3M Company. Jerry earned his law degree in 1974.
He met his future bride, Colette, while working at 3M. After they were married, the couple moved to St. Charles, where Jerry joined a small law firm and he and his wife began raising their family. In addition to practicing law, Jerry was active in the community, volunteering with local organizations and serving as the city attorney for St. Charles.
In 1984, Jerry, Colette, and their two children moved to St. Cloud. Jerry joined the law firm of Hughes, Thoreen, Mathews, and Sullivan, where he primarily practiced business, real estate, municipal, and tax law.
After the tragic passing of Jerry’s wife in 1999, a new chapter began.
He joined forces with a longtime friend and began building a small company digitally mapping lakes, starting primarily in Minnesota. The company eventually grew into LakeMaster, a successful business that creates, produces, and sells digital lake maps for GPS devices nationwide.
While building his small business, Jerry met Pegi Broker. The couple married, and while continuing to build LakeMaster into an enterprise, Jerry took on the task of raising a second family. Jerry sold LakeMaster in 2012, but he continued to work for the company he built as a consultant. In 2015, Jerry decided to take a well-earned rest and retire from LakeMaster.
In 2016, Jerry was elected to represent District 14 – St. Cloud, Waite Park, St. Augusta, and Haven and Minden townships. – in the Minnesota State Senate. Jerry serves as the Vice Chair of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee and is a member of the Capital Investment, Judiciary and Public Safety, Local Government, and Human Services Committees. At the State Capitol, Jerry has become known for his ability to reach across the aisle and deliver results for the greater St. Cloud community and Minnesota. Around the State Capitol, Jerry has earned a reputation for his commitment to Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations. He is especially involved in the area of human services, particularly for those living with disabilities.
Jerry believes in faith, family, and a concern for all life – from the unborn to the aged. He describes himself as a “constitutional conservative” and is committed to preserving the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. His ideology is firmly rooted in the freedoms of religion and speech, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and a limited government that follows the rule of enumerated powers created by our Constitution.
Finally, Jerry has always believed in the importance of giving back to his community. He has served as a board member for Anna Marie’s Alliance, United Arts of Central Minnesota, and the United Way, among others. He served on a citizen critical curriculum planning committee for St. Cloud Public Schools and volunteered with the district’s after school learning enhancement program. Jerry also spent eight years as an Adjunct Professor at St. Cloud State University.