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Texan Aboard Missing Jet an Honorable 'Man of God,' Family Says

<p>Philip Wood is a 50-year-old executive whose Texas family describes him as caring, honorable and man of faith.</p>
Image: Philip Wood
Philip Wood as seen in a Facebook photo.

Philip Wood, one of the three Americans aboard the Boeing 777 jet that vanished during a flight from Malaysia to China, is a 50-year-old father of two and IBM executive whose North Texas family describes him as caring, honorable and a man of faith.

"Philip Wood was a man of God, a man of honor and integrity," his family said in a statement issued Saturday evening. "His word was gold, incredibly generous, creative, and intelligent, Phil cared about people, his family, and above all, Christ."

Wood’s family said the American Embassy informed them he was on the missing plane.

His mother told NBC Dallas Fort-Worth that Wood, who raised his family in the Dallas area, was about to move from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur.

Image: Philip Wood
Philip Wood as seen in a Facebook photo.

She said he had visited his hometown of Keller, Texas, just last week and the family was at peace that they had seen him recently.

"Though our hearts are hurting, we know so many families around the world are affected just as much as us by this terrible tragedy," the family statement read. "We ask for your prayers, not only for ourselves, but for all involved during this difficult time. As a family, we are sticking together through Christ to get through this."

Wood has two sons in Texas.

His brother, Tom Wood, who spoke with NBC station KXAS, said Wood was excited to be moving to Kuala Lumpur.

“He was telling us how beautiful it was,” he said, describing Wood as adventuresome.

“He did like adventure,” he said. “He rode his motorcycle everywhere and liked traveling and seeing things.”

In addition to Tom, Wood also has an older sister and another younger brother.

Tom Wood said he has been in touch with Wood’s two son. “They’re mourning just like all of us, you know, it’s rough.”

Wood's ex-wife, Elaine Wood, who also lives in Keller, posted a condolence-filled message on her Facebook page.

“Philip Wood was a wonderful man,” she wrote. “Although we were no longer married, he is still family. His sons and I just want peace and quiet right now.”

“We’re all sticking together,” his father, Aubrey Wood, told The New York Times. “What can you do? What can you say?”

According to the Times, Philip Wood followed in his father’s footsteps as an IBM employee.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when it disappeared over the South China Sea with 239 people on board. Three passengers, including Wood, were Americans. The other two Americans were children, according to a passengers manifest released by the airline.

The red-eye flight took off at 11:41 a.m. ET on Friday, or 12:41 a.m. Saturday local time, and was scheduled to land about six hours later in Beijing. It disappeared about two hours after takeoff and remains missing.

Early Sunday, Malaysian aviation authorities said the plane had still not been located and that the search area had been expanded.

—Jeff Black