Mary Jane Yates King was born on June 24, 1945, in Madison, Wisconsin. She was known thanks to her husband, Alan Wilson Watts. Alan Watts was an English writer and entertainer who interpreted Japanese, Chinese and Indian traditions for Western people. Mary Jane was not blessed with any children in her marriage with Alan, but Alan was already a father of seven from his first two marriages.
Mary Jane Yates King was a public relations executive and journalist. But the details of where she worked were not made public by either her or her husband.
Mary Jane loved her husband to the extent of sharing his philosophical, spiritual and creative interests. For Watts, Mary Jane Yates was the soulmate he had been looking for all his life. The couple spent most of the time together. They went out together; they were drinking partners. Whenever Watts would attend Hollywood parties, he would ask Mary Jane to accompany him.
It is uncertain if Mary Jane Yates King remarried after her husband’s death in 1973. If she didn’t marry, she would have stayed single for over 40 years before her death.
Mary Jane’s husband gained popularity while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA radio station. Alan Watts was into tradition and religion so much to the extent of writing about them. He loved the Zen tradition because it embodied the practical and spiritual aspect, as noted in the book, A Way of Life, Work, and Art in the Far East.
Mary Jane’s husband also studied and practiced the Chinese tradition. In the 1960s worked in several radio stations, with some of his recordings still broadcast to date while others are held with the Pacific Radio Archives. Given his obsession and interest in the Zen tradition, Mary Jane’s husband published a book titled The Way of Zen, drawing on Zen’s lifestyle, history and philosophical background.
Alan Watts also did several experiments with many things, including marijuana, concluding that it was useful and gave the impression that time slows down. He also experimented with psychedelics such as mescaline, which was given to him by Oscar Janiger, an experimental psychiatrist.
Mary Jane’s husband was highly involved with writings of Buddism, the Zen tradition and his experiments with Psychedelics up to his death. Alan died on November 1973, aged 58, just a month after returning from his European lecture tour. He was under treatment for a heart condition due to his heavy drinking. Buddhist monks cremated his body near a beach.
The Personal Life of Her Husband
Mary Jane’s husband married thrice in his lifetime. At first, he married Eleanor Everett, who had been brought by her mother to London to learn piano. In their marriage, they were blessed with two daughters. Even though their marriage ended in 1949, Watts was still in contact with Eleanor’s mother.
Mary Jane Yates King died on August 24, 2015, aged 70, in Cypress, California. A memorial service was held on September 3, 2015, at the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church in Santa Clarita, California, and she was buried at the Eternal Valley Memorial Park.