The youngest child of Dutch and Swedish immigrants, Ridderhof was one of the first graduates of Columbia International University in 1923. In 1930, she traveled to Honduras, establishing her ministry in Marcala and neighboring villages. Forced to return to the United States to recover from malaria, she began make Spanish evangelizing recordings that she distributed to places in Latin America, including Marcala. She was then contacted and asked to produce some Navajo recordings, Navajo speakers would they provide. She accepted, and then she got more jobs. This led her to form Gospel Recordings in 1939.