Carol Mae Brookins

Carol Mae Doell-Zeman-Brookins, 92, died May 29, 2024, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City. There will be no services per Carol’s request. A private family inurnment will take place at Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron, Neb., next to her son, Lee Zeman.

Carol Mae was born on January 11, 1932 in Omaha, Neb. to Karl and Emma Doell. She was the oldest of four children.

When Carol was a young girl, she and her parents moved to Fremont, Neb. where they ran a grocery store during the depression. In the seventh grade, Carol, her parents and sister Margery, moved to Chadron, Neb.

Carol went to school at Chadron Prep and graduated in 1949. Following graduation, she attended Chadron State College for three years studying Business and Athletics. As a young girl, Carol worked at her family’s businesses, Doell’s Café on Main Street, and later they opened the Tea Room on Bordeaux Street. Carol also worked at the Pullman’s Café, George’s Restaurant and Grantham’s Flower Shop.

Carol married Robert Zeman in 1951 and they had two sons: Lee and Lynn. Carol went to work for the C&NW railroad for 21 years. In 1976, Carol married RC Brookins and they moved to Clear Lake. Carol became a stepmother to RC’s five children:  Clayton, Vince, Leo, Jackee and Lori.

Carol enjoyed traveling with RC. They took many trips in their retirement. They 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 House on the Rock, near Spring Green, Wis.  

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

Carol was preceded in death by her son Lee Zeman, her parents, Karl and Emma Doell, her husband RC Brookins, step daughters Lori and Jackee Brookins, sister Margery and brother in laws Danny Walker and Joe Logan.  

Carol had a request that everyone be kind to each other.

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapels is in charge of arrangements


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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