Carol (Doell) (Zeman) Brookins


At her request, there will be no services for former Chadron, NE, resident 92-year old Carol (Doell) (Zeman) Brookins of Clear Lake, IA. 

A private family inurnment will take place at Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron, next to her son, Lee Zeman.

Online condolences may be left at

 Carol Mae Doell-Zeman-Brookins was born on Jan 11, 1932 in Omaha, NE to Karl and Emma Doell, the oldest of 4 children. She died May 29, 2024, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City, IA.

When Carol was a young girl, she and her parents moved to Fremont, NE where they ran a grocery store during the depression. When Carol was in the 7th grade, the family – which by then included her sister – moved to Chadron. 

Carol went to school at Chadron Prep and graduated from there in 1949. She then attended the Nebraska State Teachers College (now Chadron State College) for 3 years, studying Business and Athletics. 

Carol worked at her family’s businesses in Chadron; first Doell’s Cafe on Main Street, then later the Tea Room on Bordeaux Street. She also worked at Pullman’s Cafe, George’s Restaurant and Grantham’s Flower Shop.

Carol married Robert Zeman in 1951 and they had two sons: Lee and Lynn. She also changed careers and worked for the Chicago and NorthWestern (C&NW) Railroad for 21 years. 

In 1976, Carol married RC Brookins and became a stepmother to his 5 children: Clayton, Vince, Leo, Jackee and Lori. The newlyweds moved Clear Lake and remained in the community until their deaths.

Carol enjoyed traveling with RC. They took many trips in their retirement and especially enjoyed trips to casinos and “get togethers” with their neighborhood friends as well as trips to Texas to see their longtime friends, Jay and Peg. 

Carol and RC took several fall trips to Wisconsin to see the trees and pick up their favorite apples and cheese. They also loved taking family members and friends to the House on the Rock near Spring Green, WI.

Left to cherish Carol’s memory are her son Lynn (Debra) Zeman; stepsons Clayton (Jackie) Brookins, Vince Brookins and Leo Brookins; granddaughters Cassandra Lindloff, Cathy Brookins, and April Lindloff; grandson Robert Brookins; sister Anne Walker; brother Robert (Jeanne) Doell; and her dear friends. 

Carol was preceded in death by her husband RC Brookins; son Lee Zeman; stepdaughters Lori and Jackee Brookins; parents Karl and Emma Doell; sister Margery; and brothers-in-law Danny Walker and Joe Logan.

Carol leaves behind one request: everyone be kind to each other!

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel in North Clear Lake, IA, is in charge of arrangements for Carol (Doell) (Zeman) Brookins