Born: November 9, 1934 (St. Catharines, Ontario)
Died: January 11, 2015 (St. Catharines, Ontario)
Ralph Markarian was a stay-at-home defenceman for four seasons of junior hockey in his native Ontario. He played for his hometown St. Catharines Teepees, as well as for the Galt Black Hawks. He scored three goals with 24 assists in 103 games with Galt.
While his hockey career was limited, Markarian became a well-known character and restaurateur in his hometown. He operated a drive-in hamburger restaurant known for an item called a Shiska-Dog, for which he got a trademark in 1971. Markarian once hired an engineer from General Motors to help streamline production at his hamburger stand.
He also owned Markarian’s Steak House (“Where steak is king”) at 410 Ontario St. at Queen Elizabeth Way. Some of his other restaurants included University Drive-In, Little Brown House, Kennedy Arms and Mother’s Pizza. Another of his entrepreneurial ventures converted Mercedes Benz sedans into stretch limousines.
A brown belt in karate, he once challenged newly-elected prime minister Pierre Trudeau to a match.
Markarian was also known as a musician. He played clarinet, saxophone, mandolin and fiddle.
Despite his limited hockey career, Markarian appears in the 1952 issue of blue tint junior hockey cards. The reverse of the card gives his birthdate as Feb. 13, 1934.