Emory has been a licensed funeral director since 1972. He is a graduate of the Brunswick Senior High School and the Gupton - Jones College of Funeral Service, Atlanta GA. He is licensed in the states of Virginia and North Carolina. In 1982, Emory became the owner of Williams Funeral Home and operated the business until his retirement on April 1, 2020. He remains an active part of the business, assisting with funeral services.

Emory is a US Army veteran and a member of many civic organizations, including the Lions Club and the American Legion. Mr. Samford is also a lifelong member of Bethel United Methodist Church. He has one daughter, Katharine, and a grandson, Sam.