Direct Association of Switches

I know there are apps around that will take the place of associations, but I have my reasons for not wanting to use them. Primarily I am trying to install my Hubitat Home Automation system so if the system was gone tomorrow and I wasn't around to "fix things" the wife could still control lights and such in the conventional "flip a switch" way. So if my automations work in parallel with traditional control then the wife is happy. My current dilemma is how to direct associate some Cooper Aspire RF9501 switches with RF9517 slaves.

Q1: If I enroll a pair of switches in the Cooper Zwave system using a RFTDC controller, establish associate, then remove them and add them to Hubitat will the association remain?

Q2: Is anyone using direct associations with Hubitat - and if so, how did you accomplish it.

Q3: I have read that you can use a Minimote to create associations. I have one of them, but how exactly would you create the association?

I suppose I can also dump my Aspire switches and buy some Zooz switches which are supposed to work with existing 3W switches and no association.

Inovelli's new Black and Red series switches also work with 3-way dumb switches or add-on switches.

I have one of the Cooper Aspire RF9500AW accessory switches and managed to set up a direct association using a custom driver and app (I think I used the Inovelli driver/app.) It was somewhat of a PITA, so if you can use the Minimote method, that would probably be easier. I don't have a Minimote though, so I can't help with that part.

Depending on how many switches you are replacing. Lutron Caseta and pro hub could be an option.
For dimmer caseta switches. I am using pico for 3 ways.
For On/Off caseta switches. I am using dumb switches.

Thanks for the suggestions.