You can delete Associates from the system without causing issues. The best way to "delete" an Associate is to change the Associate’s status.
You’ll need to change the status to one configured to:
Remove them from all trees
Cancel their Services and AutoShips
Delete their login, website, and payments on file
The default "Terminated" status works for this, but you can add your own if needed.
You’ll still be able to view the basic Associate profile once it’s changed to the new status.