Obituaries » Artiom Easterbrook

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Artiom Easterbrook

October 5, 1989 - August 29, 2020

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Artiom Mihaylovich Valer’evich Shelud’ko Tihonenko Easterbrook… went by many more names. He is described by his closest friends as courageous, irreplaceable, charismatic, majestic, a light, “Sunshine,” fearless, pistol, captivating, altruistic, brother, brilliant, and Uncle Arti, to name a few!

Artiom was born October 5, 1989, in Smolensk, Russia, and died Saturday, August 29, 2020 in a tragic automobile accident in Coleman Falls, Virginia. He was only 30 years old.

Anyone who met Artiom, “the Crazy Russian,” was usually captivated by his gregarious nature & intriguing perspectives as a Russian ‘import.’ Most laughed as they were taken aback by his off-color humor and spicy statement t-shirts, and baffled by all the contradictions that made him who he was… He was brilliant, but troubled. He loved others richly, he would give you the shirt off his back, but struggled to find peace within himself. As much as an enigma as he was while living, his death has followed suit, leaving a trail of mysteries and contradictions we may never solve.

Artiom was adopted into the United States from Russia at age 11 through the KidSave program by the Easterbrook family of Lynchburg, VA. He is survived by

Pamela, Jeffrey, Chelsea, Hillary, Holden (and wife Hayley) Easterbrook. As well as

Hannah (Easterbrook) Iacono and her husband Anthony Iacono. Also,

Grandfather Stanley Snell, nephews Knox and Liam Easterbrook, and niece Isabella Iacono.

At his death, it seemed Artiom believed most of his Russian family to be dead, or unreachable. However, through his sister, Olesya Tihonenko, we have found that he is survived by Olesya and her son Vladislav,

his mother, Lubyova Mihailovna Tihonenko,

his brother, Alexander Mikhailov,

his sister in law, Julia Mikhailova, and his niece Viktoriya and nephew Yevgeny, whom he cared for deeply. Also,

his brother Vladimir Mikhailovich Tihonenko, and

his brother Alexei Mikhailovich Tihonenko.

His father, Valery Shelud’ko is now believed to be alive.

His stepfather Mihail Tihonenko is believed dead.

There is much confusion and speculation as to what the truth is about the painful details of this young man’s experience of life, but there is NO DOUBT in the minds of those who loved him, that he was an overcomer of great odds, with a heart full of love, light, levity, and epic courage! His quirky humor and his selfless love for others touched the hearts of people in a way that will not be soon forgotten.

Artiom was fiercely proud of his Russian heritage & history, but he was also a proud U.S. citizen and patriot, very appreciative of the beauty of our freedoms. Not only was he adopted into America, with dual citizenship, he was adopted into the family of Christ in his early twenties, and then later adopted into the hearts and families of those who knew him well. His heritage and these adoptions constituted much of his identity and his courageous love for others.

In the last few years, Artiom underwent an incredible metamorphosis: he earned his driver’s license, he bought his first vehicles, he started his own tile business, Alpha Keramica, and he became a vital part of a commercial real estate enterprise as a skilled contractor and courageous problem solver of epic proportions. He is the mind and muscle behind much of the 32,000 square foot renovation of the Bedford Exchange most recently. Business and homeowners all over Lynchburg and Forest, Virginia relied on Artiom to fix what was broken, help tear down ugly things and build beautiful dreams, and make everyone laugh while doing it all with excellence…

Artiom’s miraculous life and ability to love in spite of the most astounding odds leaves a resounding echo in the hearts of all who loved him… His life inspires us to carry on his courageous Spirit when we face our own hardships. In light of what he faced, most of our troubles are quite small.

So the next time life tries to knock you down, we challenge you to say:

“Artiom

Mihaylovich

Valer’evich

Shelud’ko

Tihonenko!!”

and borrow some courage from the lionhearted young man who showed us all how to overcome great odds, with a dose of Russian humor!

And if, perhaps, life feels somewhat dim because Artiom’s graduated from Boot Camp Earth and won’t be around to brighten up your day, try to remember that he was God’s gift to you…and it was God’s Love he personified. There WILL be more love where that came from, and because of knowing Artiom, you will be able to recognize the beauty of it in the most surprising people and places… Out of great hardship comes the most incredible ability to love…

A child-friendly memorial picnic will be held Sunday afternoon at the farm of:

Rob Schumacher

164 Myrtle Street,

Monroe, VA 24574

from 3 -sundown. Please bring a side dish to share, seating, beverages, and your best Artiom stories. Sticking around for campfire stories & camping is encouraged for adults only, after sunset.  Please text Dylan Schumacher at (434) 841-9359 with names and number in your party.  He encourages everyone to try and carpool.

A candlelight memorial service will be held at Riverside Park Overlook, Monday, September 7, 2020 at 6:30 pm.

Please text the name and number attending Monday night’s event to Trisha Basten at (434) 426-6029.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boys and Girls club of America as Artiom had a huge heart for hurting kids. Better yet, simply help out the next hurting child you encounter, and do it for Artiom…

Tharp Funeral Home is assisting the family.





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