Stokes graduated from Parker High School and Booker T. Washington Business College. He was initially hired by Morris Sher as a sales manager at the Krown Kredit clothing store on 3rd Avenue North. He began his banking career at Citizens Federal Savings Bank in 1968 and rose through the ranks to executive management while completing additional studies at Birmingham-Southern College and the Institute of Financial Education in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1990 Stokes was appointed by his mentor A. G. Gaston, to succeed him as president and CEO of the bank. The change in leadership took place at Gaston's death in January 1996. Stokes negotiated Citizens Federal's merger with Atlanta's Citizens Trust Bank. He stayed on as president of the combined bank's Alabama division until his retirement in 2016. Stokes also served on an Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and on the board of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Alabama Community Bankers Association and the Alabama State Savings & Loan Association.
Stokes also earned a certificate from the American Real Estate Institute and worked as a real estate broker for Vulcan Realty & Investment Co., Sirman Realty Co. and RealtySouth. In addition, Stokes was appointed to the boards of AAA of Alabama, the Alabama State Health Planning and Development Agency, Baptist Health System, the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce, the Birmingham Community Development Corporation, the Better Business Bureau, and the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company.
Stokes was a trustee of Stillman College, Miles College and the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and a member of the board of deacons at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church. He also served on numerous civic boards, including those of Region 20/20, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Operation New Birmingham, United Way, the A. G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club, and the Entrepreneurial Center. Governor Guy Hunt appointed Stokes as an honorary Lieutenant Colonel and Aide-de-Camp in the Alabama State Militia in 1988.
- Sher, David (August 15, 2018) "My dad’s struggle to do the right thing in racially charged Birmingham" Comeback Town
- "Bunny Stokes Jr" obituary (June 22, 2021) The Birmingham News
- Johnson, Roy S. (June 24, 2021) "Bunny Stokes, Jr., the last among A.G. Gaston’s loyal business leaders, dies." The Birmingham News