A 55-year-old Miltona man drowned in Lake Miltona Saturday afternoon.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office identified him as Scott A. Gagner.

The sheriff’s office received a 911 call at 4:34 p.m. about Gagner, who went overboard on the west side of the lake and hadn’t resurfaced.

The location where Gagner was last seen was marked by GPS and the sheriff’s office dive team began search efforts.

North Air Care responded and was able to locate Gagner in the water. His body was removed from about 6 and 1/2 feet of water and resuscitation efforts began immediately.

Gagner was transported to shore and North Ambulance personnel continued with resuscitation efforts. However, Gagner, who had been in the water for at least one hour, did not survive.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by private boaters, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Leaf Valley First Responders, Miltona First Responders, North Ambulance and North Air Care.



Gagner, who is from the Thief River Falls area, was a customer service/sales representative for Boomerang Marine and Sports in Alexandria for more than three years.

He died while doing something he deeply enjoyed – boating with his wife, Cathie, said his brother, Jim Gagner of Westminster, Colorado in an interview with the Echo Press Monday.

“My brother was top of the line,” Jim said. “He loved life. He just seemed to love everything he was doing. He loved his family, his job, motorcycle riding and time on the lake. He always had a big smile and a real big heart. He would help anyone with anything.”

Scott and Cathie moved to the Miltona area about five years ago so they could live closer to their two sons, Dusty and Nick, Jim said.

Jim added that the family appreciated all the support from the local community and those who responded to the incident.

“My sister-in-law could not have been more pleased with the professionalism and courtesy of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office,” Jim said.

A celebration of Scott Gagner’s life will take place on Saturday, July 9 starting at 4 p.m. at the Thief River Golf Club, which he managed for several years. Beginning at 1 p.m. friends and family will golf in his memory.

“He was a great man,” Jim said. “He got along well with everyone – adults, the elderly, kids. He was one of those people who made a difference.”