Helen Perry Thomas received a bachelor of arts degree from Lake Erie College in 1941 and in 1942, earned a graduate certificate in physical education. She was an outstanding swimmer and diver. She received national recognition when in 1939 and 1941 she held the national championship for the 100-yard backstroke.
Perry Thomas was elected a member of the 1940 USA Olympic swimming team, as well as the American swim team which toured South America. She also held Lake Erie College records in the 40-yard breaststroke, 40-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle, as well as for the highest individual points in swimming and diving.
During her sophomore, junior and senior years, she was also a member of the varsity field hockey team. From 1942 to 1946, Perry Thomas was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Soon after the war, she married First Lieutenant Alfred Thomas of the U.S. Marine Corps. They have four children, all of whom have made their mark in swimming.
She continues her interest in athletics by playing golf regularly and assisting with women's golf tournaments in North Carolina where she lives now.
For these outstanding athletic achievements the Hall of Fame Committee inducted Helen Perry Thomas into the Athletic Hall of Fame on April 27, 1990.