Picinich, born on the Croatian island of Susak, worked for more than four decades at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, N.J., where the hit TLC series – which follows the adventures of Buddy "The Cake Boss" Valastro – is set.
A rep for the bakery says Valastro looked up to Picinich as a "second father." Picinich had worked under Valastro's late father, Buddy, Sr.
"TLC was saddened to learn of the passing of Sal Picinich, a beloved Carlo's Bakery employee featured on Cake Boss," TLC said in an official statement. "We join Buddy Valastro and the entire Carlo's crew in sending Sal's family our sincerest condolences." A tribute to Picinich was made at the end of the show's season 4 premiere, which aired Monday.
He is survived by two children, Danielle and Salvatore, and two brothers, two sisters and two grandchildren.
Picinich's funeral will be held Friday in East Rutherford, N.J.