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Michael Vitaly Pepin
Michael Vitaly Pepin, 21, passed away on Saturday March 7, 2020 in Overland Park, Kansas as a result of injuries sustained from an accidental gun discharge. The eldest son of Brett Pepin and Linda Walker Pepin, Vitaly was born in Vladivostok, Russia on March 20, 1998. Linda and Brett traveled to Russia in June, 2001 and on July 5, 2001, Vitaly and his younger brother, Konstantin (Konnor), were formally adopted.
Vitaly was 3 1/2 years old when he traveled to his new home in the United States. He was a bright and active little guy with big blue eyes who acclimated quickly to his new surroundings, learning English and attending preschool, all the while looking out for Konnor as he had done so often during their time in Russia. He attended Stilwell Elementary, Lakewood Middle School and Blue Valley West High School, graduating in May, 2016.
In many ways, Vitaly was still exploring what he wanted to do with his life. He was a happy, playful young boy who became a gifted athlete, playing soccer and baseball, wrestling and running track. He was also a dedicated and accomplished competitive gymnast for several years. As a kid, he was often found climbing trees and doing back flips off just about any surface, skills which ultimately led him to enjoy the sport of Parkour. And most days, his mom would discover his pockets to be full of treasures and trinkets he had collected, a hobby that followed him into adulthood. He was a lover of music, laughter and adventure who approached life with a spirit of spontaneity.
Spending time with family at the beach in Marco Island, Florida and taking trips to Lake of the Ozarks and Branson were a few of Vitaly’s favorite pastimes. He gravitated toward being outdoors near mountains, oceans, lakes and rivers but was also known to wander the city in search of odds and ends he could salvage including one of his most memorable rescues, a large slab of marble, which he proudly displayed. Most days he could be found in the company of his girlfriend, Maddie Heiman, and his beloved Husky/Mastiff pup, Khimari, “chillin’ with his squad” or driving around town in his beat-up, old car wearing his signature cap and shades.
Vitaly was a great big brother to Konnor and Gregori. Over the years, the boys wrestled and pestered each other as brothers often do and he felt free to hassle them to his heart’s content, but Lord help anyone who tried to do them harm. He was fiercely protective and was a loyal friend and boyfriend who will be remembered most for taking care of the people he loved.
Vitaly is survived by his mother, Linda Walker Pepin, brothers Konnor, 21, and Gregori, 18; father Brett Pepin and wife, Chantel, step-brothers, Ethan Shaw, 19 and Hayden Shaw, 21; maternal grandfather, Richard Walker; and paternal grandparents, Thomas and Carol Pepin. He will also be missed by his many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 10:00 am in the Wesley Covenant Chapel at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas 66224. The family will receive visitors beginning at 9:30 am prior to the service. Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to: Great Plains SPCA, In memory of Michael Vitaly Pepin, Attn: Development, 5428 Antioch Drive, Merriam, KS 66202