William M. (Pat) Adgate, 82, who worked as a clerk and letter carrier for the Bethesda Post Office for more than 25 years, died Thursday in a Clarksville, Tenn., hospital of complications following surgery.

He had moved to Tennessee following his retirement from the post office in 1959.

Mr. Adgate once made news because of an Irish setter named Mike that lost his heart to the mailman. According to a story that appeared in The Post in 1939, mr. Adgate and Mike delivered mail together for more than a year and a half.

Each morning, Mike would wait for Mr. Adgate to arrive at a certain mail storage box, then accompany him throughout the day as he carried the mail.

But postal officials began to receive complaints that Mr. Adgate and Mike, along with several of Mike's canine colleagues who began to accompany the pair, trod on lawns and flower beds on the Bethesda route.

Mr. Adgate was ordered to forgo the pleasure of Mike's company.For several months, Mr. Adgate was forced to drive to the spot where he knew Mike would be waiting, coax him into the car, then drive the dog back home to his owner. The owner then locked Mike up until postal deliveries were done for the day.

Mr. Adgate was a native of Portland, Mich., and moved to Bethesda in the early 1930s.

He had belonged to All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase and later joined Trinity Episcopal Church in Clarksville.

He served with the Army in France during World War I. He belonged to the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He is survived by his wife, Maria J., of the home in Clarksville; a son, Robert D., of Bethesda; a daughter, Mary Elizabeth Woodall, of Clarksville; two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Trinity Episcopal Church in Clarksville.