KRTV3 GREAT FALLS, MT
Cleve Loney identified as drowning victim
By: David Sherman
Posted at 12:56 PM, Aug 23, 2020
GREAT FALLS — Loney leaves behind legacy of service to the
Treasure State. He served as a state representative in the Montana Legislature,
chair of the Cascade County Republican Committee, and was a beloved husband,
stepfather and friend.
His loved ones expressed their sorrow over his passing on
social media on Sunday. Loney’s stepdaughter Rachelle Backer called him “a
devoted family man and friend."
Jerry Gustafson shared a picture of the Cowboy Hall of Fame
member and said, “We always enjoyed Cleve. RIP Cowboy.”
We have yet to receive any comment from Loney’s family and
are allowing them to take this time to grieve.
(1st REPORT, AUGUST 23) Cascade County Sheriff Jesse
Slaughter announced on Sunday that a man drowned in the Missouri River on
In a news release, Slaughter identified the man as Cleve
Jeffery Loney of Great Falls; Loney was 69 years old. Next of kin has been
Slaughter said that Loney and others were floating the
Missouri River between Prewett Creek and Pelican Point. Loney's kayak tipped in
some rapids and he fell out of the kayak into the river.
He was last seen attempting to stay above the surface and
then he went back under the water. The incident was witnessed by Loney's wife,
who called 911.
Loney's body was later found by a fisherman near Pelican
Point, and recovered by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, Cascade County
Search & Rescue, and Cascade County Sheriff's deputies.
Slaughter says the cause of death was drowning, and manner
of death was accidental. He also said that Loney was not wearing a life-jacket
at the time.
Loney served as the chair of the Cascade County Republicans
and was well-known in the community for his civic and political involvement.